Leeds United’s need for an accomplished centre-back partner for Pontus Jansson was no more evident than last season.
Far too many Leeds United games saw implosion in the middle as opponents simply overwhelmed and over-ran the Leeds United defence. For these fans, it reminded them of previous seasons when Massimo Cellino was in charge and Giuseppe Bellusci was a first-choice at the back.
The season before, when Leeds United agonisingly missed out on a play-off place, it was a different story. Back then, it was a Pontus Jansson-Kyle Bartley anchored defensive unit, an assured unit that was solid. Bartley, on loan at Elland Road that season, returned to Swansea having proved himself in the Championship.
That return, and his season at Elland Road, were good enough to earn him a new four-year deal at the Liberty Stadium. However, and even with a knee injury taking up a lot of his season, Bartley saw very limited time on the pitch featuring in only five games for just 233 minutes.
A couple of weeks ago journalist Phil Hay said that Leeds were back in for the solid Bartley, and United fans’ hearts began to beat quicker. That was followed up with more recent news that the Swans were ready to sell Bartley after the Manchester-born centre-back signalled his intention of leaving the relegated South Wales side.
Hay’s most recent article (above) says that “City’s board are willing to listen to offers having been told that he [Bartley] wants to consider options elsewhere.” Hay goes on to say that, with an initial outlay of £4 million being mentioned, that he “is understood to see Leeds as his first choice” out of all the clubs chasing his signature.
This news has, of course, gotten up the hopes of Leeds United fans, but it has also led to doubt and uncertainty amongst some Leeds United supporters. This is typified by fans asking whether there is any updated news forthcoming – such as the following conversation involving a reply from BBC Radio Leeds’ reporter Adam Pope.
Still looking positive.
— Adam Pope (@APOPEY) May 19, 2018
With Leeds United fans looking for any sign of hope in what will be a momentous transfer for the Whites, Adam Pope’s “still looking positive” will be a welcome shot in the arm.