Arsenal defender Kyle Bartley signs new contract

GLASGOW SCOTLAND - FEBRUARY 20: Scott Brown of Celtic is tackled by Kyle Bartley of Rangers during the Clydesdale Bank Premier League match between Celtic and Rangers at Celtic Park on February 20 2011 in Glasgow Scotland.. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

Arsenal's central defender Kyle Bartley, who turned 20 in May, has signed a new contract with the club, according to the official website. Bartley is a tall, physical presence who has spent successful periods on loan at Sheffield United, where he made 35 appearances in two years, and Rangers, where he made five appearances and won the admiration of fans for his solid presence in two Old Firm clashes and his late goal in a 1-0 win against St. Mirren.

Although he's only 20, Bartley is, in theory, the kind of central defender that many Arsenal supporters have been clamoring for over the past few years: tall, robust, intimidating, and good in the air. He has made one appearance for the senior team against Olympiacos in the Champions League in 2009, and was a bit unfortunate to be the scorer of the own goal against New York Red Bulls on Sunday that saw the match finish in a draw. Still, if he can fulfill some of his promise from his time on loan, Bartley could be the squad player that Arsenal have been looking for in defense, possibly challenging Sebastien Squillaci for the fourth spot on the depth chart, assuming he doesn't go out on loan again.

UPDATE: He might, if Young Guns is anyone to go by (and he is, most certainly):

Good to see Kyle Bartley has signed a new contract. Looks likely to go on loan again. Ipswich latest club to ask about him.less than a minute ago via web Favorite Retweet Reply

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