Sunderland player details why he snubbed Burnley advances despite Vincent Kompany dialogue | OneFootball

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Football League World

·5 June 2023

Sunderland player details why he snubbed Burnley advances despite Vincent Kompany dialogue

Article image:Sunderland player details why he snubbed Burnley advances despite Vincent Kompany dialogue

Daniel Ballard has opened up on the talks he had with Vincent Kompany prior to his move to Sunderland last summer.

Ballard joined the Black Cats from Arsenal last year and has become a key member for his side despite making just 22 appearances last season, having suffered numerous injuries throughout the campaign.

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It could have been different for the Northern Ireland international, though, having held talks with the Clarets last season, even speaking in detail with Kompany.

The move collapsed however, with Ballard making a permanent move to the Stadium of Light having impressed on loan at Blackpool and Millwall.

Was Dan Ballard close to joining Burnley?

With reasons for the move to Turf Moor collapsing initially unknown, Ballard has revealed to The Athletic that he had conversations with Kompany about style of play before opting to move to the North East.

"He was very complimentary," Ballard told The Athletic.

"He said it was one of the positions he wanted to nail down and felt I could perform what he wanted to do on the ball."

It was clear that Kompany was chasing composed defenders, which gave insight into how he wanted to transform the style of play with the Clarets.

With Ballard coming through at Arsenal and excelling at Millwall on loan in the previous season, it seemed an obvious choice to pursue the 22-year-old.

Did Ballard reject Burnley to join Sunderland?

Reasons are still unclear on why Ballard didn't join Burnley, despite heavy links last year.

Rumours of failing a medical were wide of the mark, but Ballard has alluded to choosing Sunderland over Burnley after their respective seasons that saw both sides vying in the Championship.

Ballard explained to The Athletic: “Burnley had just gone down to the Premier League and Sunderland had just come up from League One, but I felt I could play more of a pivotal role at Sunderland.

“Burnley had a great season, but I feel that I am a big part of the team.”

Reading between the lines, it seems Ballard chose Sunderland because he felt he could have more of an impact at the club.

In Burnley's pursuit of a comfortable, ball playing defender, they signed Luke McNally from Oxford United. The centre back found first team football hard to come by at Turf Moor, ending the season on loan with playoff finalists Coventry City, justifying Ballard's decision to move to the North-East.

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