By Alex Stevens
Kyle Bartley has been described as “a giant among giants” and one of the best Championship signings of the season by a BBC journalist.
The centre-back delivered another outstanding display for promotion-chasing Leeds in their 1-0 league win over Sheffield Wednesday on Saturday.
A superb Chris Wood finish put Garry Monk’s side ahead and then a resilient defensive display, which included a penalty save from Rob Green, enabled the Yorkshire giants to secure the three points.
BBC Leeds broadcaster and journalist Adam Pope identified Bartley as an integral figure in Leeds’ transformation from mid-table mediocrities to a side with genuine promotion hopes.
“Kyle Bartley – a giant among giants,” said Pope on Saturday, as quoted by the live match blog (2.41pm).” It has just felt, from game one for me, that this guy senses things positionally that others who have come before him in that position haven’t. He has grown into a leader, to be so composed.
“Him and [Pontus] Jansson, together, are better than him and anybody else together. I think he epitomises everything that is successful about this team – he embodies the whole culture and winning mentality that Monk wants at this club.
“Bartley is right up there with the best Championship loanees this season.”
Bartley, 25, joined Leeds on a season-long loan from parent club Swansea last summer and has started 33 of the club’s 34 league fixtures.
He has established a formidable partnership with fellow loanee Jansson, who has agreed to join Leeds on a permanent contract that begins in the summer.
The club’s win on Saturday afternoon lifted Garry Monk’s side into fourth position in the Championship table and eight points clear of Fulham in seventh.
Leeds have accumulated a tally of 61 points from 34 Championship matches this season and are only nine adrift of leaders Newcastle.