Atkins happy seeing Swansea defender Bartley at Birmingham
The Swansea City defender is on-loan at Birmingham this season.
"Going back many years ago when Bartley was at Arsenal he was going to be the next big thing," said Atkins told the Sunday Mercury.
"He went to Rangers and Sheffield United and people knew him as a good footballing centre-half, but there were question marks over his defensive qualities. You would hope he has learned over the course of time and that he can put it to good use at Birmingham."