Arsenal youngster Kyle Bartley is ready to challenge for a first-team place at The Emirates Stadium after spending last season on loan at SPL champions Rangers.

Bartley made nine appearances for The Gers last season following a spell at Sheffield United and scored his first professional goal against St Mirren in March.

But after admitting he wasn't ready for the Gunners first team last season, Bartley is ready to stake a claim to start the season after a successful spell with Rangers.

“If I’m honest, I don’t think I was anywhere near the level to play for Arsenal last season,” he told the club's official website. “But I've come back, I feel really strong and I feel that I am ready now.

“I learned the demands of being at a top football club who are trying to win things and how important it is to be a champion and a winner. Every time you step on the pitch, you are going out there to win so there is a lot of pressure on you.


“I think I can offer something else [because] I am a little bit different to the other centre-backs. I like the physical side of the game and I see myself as a leader. If Arsene decides that he wants me in the first team then that will be fantastic."

“It was always the aim to get back for the start of pre-season because it’s an important time of the year. I will be back with them on Tuesday when they are back in training with a view to going to Germany with them.

“He has said he doesn’t want me going on loan yet and he hasn’t made his mind up. My hopes are the same as every year, to be an Arsenal first-team player. Hopefully, this year, that will happen.”

Rangers won the SPL title by one-point from Celtic last season, but saw their rivals win the Scottish Cup.

Before a spell with Rangers, Bartley had had two spells on loan at Sheffield United, who were relegated from the Npower Championship last season.

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