Arsenal: Watts reveals interest in transfer-listed youngster

Image for Arsenal: Watts reveals interest in transfer-listed youngster

Goal’s Arsenal correspondent Charles Watts has provided an update on the situation regarding the sale of Daniel Ballard.

Watts was speaking on his YouTube channel discussing potential incomings and outgoings at the Emirates Stadium this summer.

The powerful 22-year-old centre-back spent last season on loan at Millwall and made 30 Championship appearances as the club finished ninth in the table. 

However, as reported by Watts for Goal at the end of May, the Gunners are open to selling the Northern Ireland international should a ‘suitable offer arrive’.

Emirates Stadium officials are believed to have met with representatives of the man dubbed a ‘huge talent’ by his national press at the Belfast Telegraph and have agreed that although they have been delighted with how he has progressed in recent seasons, they don’t see him receiving the necessary game time he requires to develop further, and Watts has reiterated that there are a raft of teams interested in snapping him up.

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He said: “There’s lots of interest in Ballard. Plenty of clubs interested in him from the Championship.

“I believe a couple of lower Premier League clubs could potentially be keeping tabs on his situation as well. So we wait to see what happens with Ballard and his future.”

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The 10-cap international scored his first goal for his country in the week during a 3-2 defeat to Kosovo and perhaps put himself in the shop window further with a leading 7.7 rating for his nation. 

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However, despite the experience at the international level there appears to be no clear pathway for Ballard with Ben White, Gabriel and Rob Holding all first-team regulars and Ligue 1 Young Player of the Year William Saliba also returning.

He is yet to make a senior appearance in north London but after a spell at Millwall and a League One play-off winning campaign at Blackpool, he could be a shoo-in for a Championship outfit at least. 

Millwall and QPR lead a raft of suitors including Burnley, Cardiff, Sheffield United and Stoke but it remains to be seen what fee Edu and company will command for the £1.8m-rated defender.

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