Sunderland have agreed a deal to sign young defender Daniel Ballard, according to reliable journalist Pete O’Rourke.
The Lowdown: Championship experience
The centre-back made 30 league appearances for the Lions; with the total expected to have been far higher if it wasn’t for undergoing knee surgery halfway through the campaign.
According to WhoScored, the Arsenal loanee was Millwall’s fourth best player all season, having averaged an impressive 6.93 match rating.
The defender averaged 1.9 tackles, 1.6 interceptions, 3.4 clearances and 0.6 blocks per game, gaining valuable experience playing in the Championship.
The Latest: O’Rourke’s news
O’Rourke has revealed the next chapter in Ballard’s footballing career. Taking to Twitter, the journalist claimed:
“Understand Sunderland have agreed a deal for Arsenal and Northern Ireland defender Daniel Ballard. #safc #afc #Arsenal
“Ballard has completed a medical at the Stadium of Light and is set to sign a four-year deal with Sunderland. #SAFC #AFC”
The Verdict: Great signing
With Alex Neil’s side preparing for life in the Championship, the 22-year-old’s arrival would add second tier experience to the Black Cats’ back-line.
Having already made ten international appearances for Northern Ireland, the defender is clearly highly rated, yet he has never been given a chance with Arsenal’s first-team, perhaps explaining why he is so keen to get out and impress.
Should Sunderland sign Ballard?
Dubbed a ‘huge talent’ by Northern Irish press, the former Millwall loanee looks to be a brilliant signing for Sunderland.
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