COMMENT By Emma Sanders
Pontus Jansson has earned all the praise but it’s Kyle Bartley who has arguably been Leeds’ best defender this season.
The 25-year-old joined the Whites on a season-long loan from Swansea in the summer and he has gone on to make 22 appearances in the Championship this season.
He has been extremely impressive and it’s crucial Garry Monk ties him down with a permanent contract in January to ensure his long-term alliance with the club.
Jansson has been dubbed by many as Leeds’ best defender this season but Bartley has been quietly impressive and his composure on the ball makes him an even more effective centre-back.
He started his career at Arsenal and it’s clear he has picked up great on-the-ball ability, which he demonstrated a number of times during the victory against Brentford on Saturday.
Bartley is as good a passer as any in midfield and he can eliminate opponents with his balls from the back, setting up attacks and driving through the first line of defence.
His partnership with Jansson has allowed the Swedish centre-back to excel and play with such composure.
The Swansea man oozes confidence and he has faith in his own ability. His teammates feel comfortable with him behind them and are therefore encouraged to play the ball out from the back rather than reacting in panic.
Not only is he solid in defence, he’s scored three vital goals this season, netting in 2-1 victories against Blackburn and Barnsley before adding the winner against Brentford.
Leeds can’t afford to let him get away in January.
In other Leeds news, Monk believes this player relies on his athleticism to do well.