Arsenal are reportedly ready to sanction the exit of 22-year-old defender Daniel Ballard, with Burnley emerging as the likely destination.
According to Football Insider, Daniel Ballard could be set for a move away from Arsenal this summer. The Premier League giants have accepted a £2 million offer from Burnley, and a move to Turf Moor could be on the horizon.
Mikel Arteta has already given the green light for Ballard to leave the Emirates ahead of the new season. Arsenal have subsequently accepted a bid from Burnley that met their asking price. The Clarets, therefore, are now cleared to hold talks with the player over personal terms.
A centre-back by trade, Ballard has been a part of the Arsenal youth setup since 2007. While he was promoted to the reserve side four years ago, the 22-year-old defender was never really able to make grade at the professional level. He is yet to even make his competitive debut for Arsenal, spending much of his career on loan at lower league clubs.
Ballard most recently plied his trade with Millwall. He made 31 EFL Championship appearances this past season, becoming a key asset in the Millwall backline. His performances were critical in helping his club attain a mid-table finish in the league.
However, after 15 years with Arsenal, Ballard could take the next step in his career by joining Burnley. A move to Turf Moor makes a world of sense for the young centre-back, especially in the wake of James Tarkowski and Ben Mee’s departures from the club.
Tarkowski, for one, will have his Burnley contract expiring at the end of the month. He has been linked with a move to Everton lately, whereas Ben Mee is currently a free agent as well, after running down his contract at Turf Moor. Their exits should pave the way for young Daniel Ballard to become a crucial asset to the Burnley defence.
The 22-year-old’s imposing frame at the back, coupled with his game-reading abilities should come in handy as Burnley look to establish themselves in the Championship and seek a return to the top-flight next season.
As for Arsenal, they are unlikely to be fazed by the departure of Ballard, especially with the return of William Saliba. The Frenchman enjoyed a fruitful campaign on loan at Marseille and should add some valuable depth at the heart of the backline for Mikel Arteta’s men next season.