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Kyle Bartley is thriving at West Brom once again

West Bromwich Albion recorded their second successive victory last weekend as they scraped past Queens Park Rangers at Loftus Road, lifting them to within a point of safety.

It marked Carlos Corberan’s third game in charge, with the Spaniard having already seemingly worked his magic on this Baggies squad that had previously won just twice in 16 Championship games.

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Although John Swift performed admirably in both of these results, boasting the highest average rating of any of his teammates this season, it is the return of Kyle Bartley to the starting side that has truly marked a change in results.

For comparison, he is now fourth, just 0.17 behind the creative 27-year-old.

The English stalwart has spent the majority of this season suffering from injury, having missed a large part of pre-season due to fitness concerns regarding his ankle.

Steve Bruce himself claimed that it had been “difficult” for the 31-year-old, challenging him to “earn their trust back” after some fans had questioned his commitment and ability.

Before Corberan entered the Hawthorns, he had featured in just four of their 16 matches.

However, in their most recent run of wins, he has unsurprisingly come in and played every minute.

This correlation with back-to-back clean sheets is also a welcome addition, with his experience beside the youthful Dara O’Shea clearly paying dividends.

Bartley now boasts an average SofaScore rating of 6.98 for the campaign, and also popped up with the winning goal over QPR too.

It seems that any success the new boss has will certainly be underpinned by the defender who is averaging a whopping 4.0 clearances per game.

He clearly demands huge respect too, which could be pulling the best performances out of the centre-back.

Speaking on Corberan, the 6 foot 3 colossus claimed: “His tactical knowledge is absolutely different class. It’s something like I’ve never seen in my career.”

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First up in this West Brom transfer quiz, which club did the Baggies sign Alex Mowatt from?

The manager would return the favour, with some kind words of his own for Bartley: “Before I signed here, I knew how important Bartley is, how important he has been for the club. My target is for him to recover the best of him. I have coached many times against him, and he is one of the best centre backs in the league.”

A clear mutual respect resonates between the two, with their respective contributions holding huge weight in this West Brom resurgence. 

Article title: Kyle Bartley is thriving at West Brom once again

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