Daniel Ballard makes Sunderland claim just days after sealing Arsenal switch | OneFootball

Daniel Ballard makes Sunderland claim just days after sealing Arsenal switch

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Football League World

New Sunderland signing Daniel Ballard has said he definitely thinks he has picked the right club to go to after departing Arsenal permanently.

The 22-year-old’s move to the Stadium of Light was confirmed a couple of days ago.

Explaining how the permanent switch came about, Ballard explains that whilst it will be weird not having the aftercare support from Arsenal like on his previous loans, he believes he won’t need it due to picking the “right club”.

Ballard explained to ChronicleLive: “Arsenal made it pretty clear that there wasn’t a pathway through to the first team at this moment in time.”

“I think we sort of agreed that it was the best thing for me to look for a new challenge permanently.

“There was a lot of interest from a few clubs and it was just about picking the right one to progress with.

“It’ll definitely be a bit strange not being an Arsenal player, not having that bit of extra support and going back at the end of the season, but I definitely think I’ve picked the right club so that I don’t need that.”

Ballard spent the 2021/22 season out on loan at Millwall and so has experienced the Championship before – a much needed asset for Sunderland as they make the step up from League One.

The Black Cats get their campaign underway at home against Coventry City, and Ballard says he is looking forward to working as part of an ambitious, long-term project at the Stadium of Light.

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“This is a great challenge and I’m really looking forward to it.” The central defender added.

“I had a lot of chats with the manager and the people above him, and they made really clear that I was one of the key targets and that they wanted me to be the first player through the door for them.

“That gave me an awful lot of confidence, just that they really wanted me here and also to be a really key part of the team. This is obviously a longer-term project and I think it was that ambition that really excited us.”

The Verdict

This is an excellent signing for Sunderland and it sounds as though the young defender is settling in well in the North East.

The fact that the 22-year-old feels he is at the right club and made the right decision just days after sealing his switch from Arsenal is telling.

Ballard offers that rare blend of youth and experience, particularly for his age.

As such, there is plenty of room for improvement and growth with Sunderland as they also look to re-establish themselves in the top two divisions.

It will certainly be interesting to see how he and Sunderland do when the new season gets underway.

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