Bartley looking for first-team chance at Arsenal

Young defender looking to make an impact at the Gunners this season after forcing his way into Arsene Wenger's pre-season squad after impressing in loan spell at Rangers last year

Arsenal defender Kyle Bartley wants to become a permanent fixture in the Gunners first-team after forcing his way into Arsene Wenger's squad this summer.

The 21-year-old was named in the club's squad for the pre-season tour of Asia after impressing whilst on loan at Rangers last season, and Bartley is now looking to take the next step and become a full-time starter in the Premier League for the Gunners.

"It was a big honour and a privilege to come back and be part of the first team," Bartley told the club's official website.

"Just being in and around the dressing room is great and I have to thank the boss for that. Now I want to push on from here.

"It has been good so far and great to get away with the first team on tour. It's been nice to get a bit of game time with them to try and get my sharpness back.

"I just tried to give 100 per cent in every game I played. I just had to stick to the gameplan and play how I normally do - hopefully I have done well."

Bartley was part of the Rangers team that lost out on the SPL title to Celtic by 10 points, but was grateful of the experience of regular football. He believes he wasn't adversely affected by the club's off-the-field problems last season, but felt it caused problems for some of the Gers' key players.

The young defender added: "It was a massive experience for me because I managed to play 20-odd games once I got my fitness back here," he said.

"I had a hernia operation at the start of the season, which was disappointing. Obviously there were a lot of ups and downs, which can only benefit me in the long run.

"I don't think the off-the-pitch matters really affected me, but for some of the players it did. For some of them it is their hometown club and I think they were a little bit worried about their futures.

"For me it was a little bit easier because I knew I was coming back to Arsenal. But for the team it definitely affected them.

"Rangers are a massive club and last season they still had an average attendance of about 46,000. That can only benefit a player like me. I just learned that I had to keep giving 100% and to try and not to let outside matters affect me."