By Will Butcher

Former Leeds star Andy Ritchie believes Kyle Bartley has outshone fellow loan signing Pontus Jansson this season.

The defensive duo’s relationship has been widely regarded as the key to Leeds’ upturn in fortunes.

The Yorkshire giants have won four out of their last five encounters with Bartley alongside Jansson at the heart of the Leeds defence.

Jansson has emerged as a cult hero among supporters for his central defensive displays but his partner has also impressed during Leeds’ last seven matches, in which they have conceded just four goals.

Ritchie claimed that Swansea loan star Bartley has been better than Jansson, and showed that last weekend in the 2-1 win against Yorkshire rivals Barnsley.

“Pontus Jansson is getting a lot of plaudits for his performances at Leeds United,” Ritchie wrote in his Yorkshire Evening Post column. “But, for me, Kyle Bartley outshone Jansson in the Barnsley game last weekend.

“Jansson did the little ‘step overs’ a couple of times to really get the crowd going. But for me, Bartley was great all day he really. He kept it together in getting his head on everything and was marshalling everyone for me.”

Former Arsenal youth player,Bartley, has been a mainstay of Leeds’ defence following his summer arrival from manager Garry Monk’s old side Swansea.

The 25-year-old has made 13 league and cup appearances for Monk’s side this term, and has instantly become a fan favourite at Elland Road.

Bartley is currently standing in as captain for the injured Liam Bridcutt, and has also found the back of the net on two occasions.

In other Leeds news, a Premier League return could be on the cards if Monk can re-sign this midfield star.