By Rob Kelly

Kyle Bartley says the addition of Steve Bould to Arsenal's first-team coaching staff "could be as big as any new signing this summer".

Following the retirement of Pat Rice at the end of last season, Arsène Wenger moved quickly to appoint the former Under-18s manager as his new assistant manager.

And for Bartley, learning from an Arsenal defensive legend is something to relish.

"It is fantastic - already in training you can see the influence Steve is having," he said. "I think for defenders and the whole defensive unit it is going to be a massive benefit.

"Having Steve with the first team could be as big as any signing this summer."

Bartley has been promoted to Arsenal's first-team squad for the 2012 Arsenal Tour, but he knows that making the breakthrough remains a tough task.

"It was an honour and privilege to be called up to be part of the first-team squad," he said. "There aren't too many players who have come through the youth team and established themselves in the first team. That is my aim and the hard work starts now.

"I have had two seasons on loan and got plenty of experience, and have come back to Arsenal a much better player. I have spoken to the boss briefly during pre- season and the plan is to stick around and see where I fit into his plans.

"Hopefully I will be in the mix to push for a place and then keep my place when I get my chance in the team."

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24 Jul 2012