Daniel Ballard impressing on loan at Blackpool

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Daniel Ballard’s first loan spell away from Arsenal didn’t go to plan as he was recalled early from his stint at Swindon Town due to injury.

Matters are going considerably better for the defender at Blackpool this season, however, as he has produced some encouraging performances when called upon.

A minor injury saw him miss several games, but the 21-year-old has settled in well in a first-team environment and it seems likely that his loan deal, which is set to expire in January, will be extended until the end of the season.

It will certainly be interesting to see what happens with Ballard at the end of the campaign. He will turn 22 in the early stages of next season and therefore will no longer be considered a youngster as far as Premier League rules are concerned.

The centre-back has an excellent attitude and is constantly improving, while he has also made an impact on the senior stage at international level, making five caps for Northern Ireland.

Arsenal also have other young centre-backs to consider, including Zech Medley, Mark McGuinness and Harry Clarke, all of whom have also gained valuable experience on loan in the first half of the season.

Ballard will be eager to show, though, that he is the one that is most deserving of first-team opportunities at Arsenal.

Jeorge Bird is the author of www.arsenalyouth.wordpress.com Follow him on Twitter @jeorgebird

 

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Vonnie

He’s done well and deserves a chance, we’ll have a lot of young centre-backs to choose from and if we manage them properly we could be set for a good few years.

Lord Bendnter

Sign him on a long-term contract and keep sending him out on loan until he’s much better and first team worthy. Arsenal has never been the best place to develop young CBs

Belfast Gooner

I have seen Ballard play a couple of times for Northern Ireland. I was at a home game in November against Romania. No-one wants to see a Northern Ireland International succeed at The Arsenal more than I do, but I don’t think he’s anywhere near ready for the first team. He gave the ball away four or five times from fairly simple passes so that would be an area where he needs to improve. He is very good at last ditch tackles and holding his own against his opponent. There is a bit of steel about him. He was kicked… Read more »

goonerrah

Throw him into our senior squad, he can join the other 14 useless CBs we have and Arteta play them all plus Leno in our next match.

StockholmGooner

Just because the results and the club is toxic doesn’t mean we as fans should be get toxic. Lets get angry with reason.

Twatsloch

Ballard Rising High!

Gabrigoal

Good work by the loan team and youth director.

Looks like we are producing talent in areas we are in need of it, carefully nurturing them through loan experiences.