Arsenal

Forgotten Arsenal star to make Premier League comeback as rivals ‘launch transfer bid’

Former Arsenal centre-back Kyle Bartley could be set for a Premier League return after two-and-a-half years away, with Luton eyeing up a move for the experienced head.

Bartley, 32, began his career with the Gunners after coming through the academy but only managed one first-team appearance for the Gunners. He would eventually get his Premier League chance, though, first with Swansea and then with West Brom.

The defender was part of the Albion side relegated from the top-flight in 2021, but has remained with the club since. His spell at the Hawthorns could soon come to an end, though, after more than five years and nearly 200 appearances.

Premier League strugglers Luton already have some Arsenal links, with Albert Sambi Lokonga on loan from the north London club and back-up goalkeeper James Shea having started out with the Gunners. And, with Bartley on their radar, they could be adding to that number.

According to The Telegraph, Luton are keen to take advantage of Bartley only having six months on his contract. West Brom still consider him a key part of their back-line, though, handing him a start in eight of their last nine league games.

Carlos Corberan’s side are looking to return to the Premier League, having finished three points outside the play-off spots last season. They currently sit in fifth, with their 27 goals conceded representing one of the best defensive records in the league.

Luton were similarly impressive at the back when they won promotion via the play-offs last season, but look in need of bodies after finding things tougher in the top tier. The Hatters have conceded 38 times in 20 Premier League games, keeping just one clean sheet, and are now without captain Tom Lockyer after he suffered a cardiac arrest during a game in December.

If we stay as we are, I’ll genuinely be happy as well, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see one or two little bits of change,” manager Rob Edwards said before Luton’s last game away at Burnley. That fixture ended all-square, with Carlton Morris coming off the bench to score a controversial late leveller.

“I think it’s important to stress that I don’t want too much,” the boss added. “I do want to come out of the window strong and I know we will do, but keeping a lot of what we’ve got is really important to me. I’ve experienced it before when we got promoted at Blackpool, maybe a little bit of change in the January window can change things a bit and that’s always stayed with me that.”

Luton signed more than a dozen new players over the summer, including two loanees. A number of those additions have made an impact, including experienced former England internationals Ross Barkley and Andros Townsend, but there may yet be more deals lying ahead.

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