Date: 16th June 2021 at 10:45am
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insider Charles Watts has offered his view on the future of young defender Daniel Ballard.

The central defender spent last season on loan with League One side Blackpool, making 30 appearances in all competitions, including all three play-off matches and helping them win promotion to the Championship. He’s also managed to make a mark on the stage as well, starting in three of Northern Ireland’s five matches in 2021 so far.

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Watts has reported that there a number of sides interested in him this summer, and speaking on his show, he further discussed the matter and broke down what options Arsenal have at their disposal when it came to his future:

“He’s got huge amounts of interest in him, signing him on loan. Something could well happen in the next week or so with him.

“Blackpool are obviously desperate to get him back now, they got promoted to the Championship next season, but there are about four other Championship clubs very much in the running for Ballard, a couple of those were top-half Championship clubs last season. So he has to make a big, big decision and Arsenal have to make a decision about what they think is going to be best for him next season.

“He’s not for sale. Obviously, if someone came in and whacked in a huge bid, then that might change things, but for Arsenal, it wouldn’t make any sense really to sell Ballard now.

“He had a very good season last season – but he had a good season in League One with Blackpool, so his value’s not going to be high. If he has a very good season out on loan this season in the Championship, then that value could increase two or threefold.”

TIF Thoughts on Charles Watts’ comments on Daniel Ballard…

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Arsenal need to be careful with what club they end up sending him to, if indeed it is out on loan to the Championship, because sending him to the wrong club could have an adverse effect on his development.

You don’t want to send him too low in the division to a team that could be struggling and he won’t have a chance to play well, but at the same time, sending him to a team too high could leave him out of his depth.

So this isn’t a decision that Arsenal should be rushing to make, because it could very well end up having a long-term effect on what appears to be a very promising prospect.

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