Kyle Bartley has joined West Bromwich Albion. The Swansea defender has called time on his career at the Liberty Stadium, joining the Baggies in a deal worth an initial £4 million, potentially rising to £6 million.
For fans of Leeds United, it has caused some mixed emotions.
Bartley is fondly remembered at Elland Road and rightly so.
He was exceptional under Garry Monk and formed a brilliant partnership with Pontus Jansson in the Leeds back-line. The pair nearly led Leeds to play-off contention, but eventually came up agonisingly short.
So, when it was reported in the Spring that Leeds were after Bartley again, it had Leeds fans very excited.
As reported by the Yorkshire Evening Post, Leeds opened discussions over signing the player back in April. They hoped to tie up a deal soon after the season finished.
But various factors got in the way. Swansea got relegated, which delayed a decision on his availability. They were then searching for a new manager after Carlos Carvalhal left. Things also changed at Leeds. Paul Heckingbottom got the boot and the club then went on a prolonged hunt to bring in Marcelo Bielsa.
Since then the interest appeared to dry up and many Leeds fans are now gutted a deal has not been pushed through whilst a Championship rival has strengthened.
But that is not a universal opinion. Others trust in Bielsa having something up his sleeve and question Bartley’s fitness after two spells on the sidelines.
Here is a selection of reaction to the news…
Dumbfounded #LUFC weren’t in for Bartley at that price. Our transfer policy is shocking.
— Stuart (@Stuart_ric12) July 16, 2018
— Ryan (@LeedsUtdRyan) July 16, 2018
— brolin285 (@brolin285) July 16, 2018
Let’s hope Orta can sign somebody better for 4 million! Doubt it cos the guy is clueless. I’m not having Bielsa not wanting Bartley, when Cooper is in his plans and will remain captain! #lufc
— Johnny F (@JF_LUFCmod) July 16, 2018
As much as I liked Bartley at #LUFC, he suffered two serious injuries last season and barely played. Cost up to £7m and would command a decent wage. If Bielsa thinks that’s best spent elsewhere, so be it.
Can’t want a top class manager and then not want him to have control. https://t.co/IeuA8R9yHl
— Marcelo Bielsa Fan Account (@DistractedLeeds) July 16, 2018
Watching Bartley go to West Brom has broken my heart I really do hope use are not pulled no are leg again this season @andrearadri last season was big disappointment
— Kevin Groves (@Kevin1980lufc) July 16, 2018
— Top Tipping (@TopTipping1) July 16, 2018
How do we know if Kyle Bartley ever wanted to come back to us? Just a thought. #lufc
— Parma (@Parma__D) July 16, 2018
— James Courtney (@jcourts1991) July 16, 2018
IF bartley was our top target but has since been deemed not needed by bielsa, he must have a target lined up who is going to be as good or even better. Trust guys trust. #lufc
— kris (@edge_lufc) July 16, 2018
Shame about Bartley,But we move on,obviously Bielsa wasn’t interested in him,He’s calling it now,so let’s not tweet the club/owner and slag them of about a player that we may or may not of wanted,if Bielsa doesn’t want them we have to go with his judgement, #lufc
— paul kelly (@paulie_lufc) July 16, 2018
— Faron Bloomfield (@fb220_) July 16, 2018
Remember when Bartley was our ‘top target’ ?#LUFC
— RamblingsoftheSS (@_ROTSS_) July 16, 2018