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Bartley could join a mini-exodus this summer
Thursday, 11th May 2017 22:31 by Tim Whelan

We could start running out of defenders next season, as Kyle Bartley is likely to be back at his parent club Swansea City, even though the player says he has enjoyed his time at Leeds.

After our season finished at Wigan, Bartley told the Yorkshire Post “I’ve fallen in love with the players, the staff, the fans, the club,” said Bartley. It’s been brilliant. That’s as far as I can say.” And Garry Monk is known to want to sign the central defender permanently, but Bartley has a year of his contact at Swansea to run, so his parent club are entitled to retain him if they want to.

Though he was surplus to requirements under previous Swansea managers, their current boss Paul Clement is well aware that the 25-year-old has had a good season, and intends to give him another chance to establish himself at the Liberty Stadium. Clement said “I’ve spoken to Kyle on the telephone and said ‘well done this year’. It’s quite unusual for a loan player to captain the side, but from our point of view he’s a Swansea player.”

This news comes after reports that we could also find it hard to convert Pontus Jansson’s loan spell into a permanent transfer in the face of interest from Southampton. The central defensive pair joined us at the end of August, and were pivotal as Leeds recovered from a disappointing start, although there were suggestions that Jansson had a fallout with Monk behind the scenes

And we will of course be losing Charlie Taylor, though that bitter pill will be slightly sweetened by the compensation we will be entitled to because of his age, which could amount to as much as £4 million. Taylor will be fined two weeks wages for his refusal to play at Wigan, but he won’t give a monkeys about that if he lands a lucrative Premier League contract, as his priority was to make sure he avoided injury.

And it’s no surprise that Antonsson will also be leaving us after the miserable season he has endured. I have fond memories of his late goal at Fleetwood that saved our League Cup campaign from falling at the first hurdle, but his appearances then were few and far between. He was a victim of the lone striker system that Garry Monk adopted to protect the defence after our disappointing start.

He was unlikely to displace Chris Wood, and was unsuited to play the lone striker role he was asked to adopt whenever the New Zelander was unavailable. There were a couple of games where I would have liked to have seen Monk bring him on as a second striker, when we were struggling to break teams down or needed a late goal, but long before the end of the season Monk had clearly lost faith in him.

So for one reason or another we could well have to find replacements for quite a few key positions before August. Let’s hope that we can recruit the players we need for another promotion challenge.

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