Arsenal defender Ballard set to gain valuable experience on loan at Swindon

Arsenal defender Daniel Ballard has joined League Two side Swindon Town on a season-long loan.

The centre-back has yet to make his senior debut for Arsenal but has produced some excellent performances at U23 level.

Previously released twice by Arsenal, Ballard has shown excellent determination to get to this stage and will be eager to gain valuable experience of first-team football this season.

The 19-year-old has been called up Northern Ireland at senior level on two occasions.

Ballard’s temporary departure should make it easier for the likes of Mark McGuinness and Harry Clarke to get game time for the Gunners at U23 level this season.

One comment

  1. I generally like the idea of young players going on loan, and even though sending our best U23 defender to gain first team experience will likely reduce Bould’s chances to win silverware, it is probably less important then improving our young players.
    My only concern is whether League Two is right place. I know that Ballard is only 18, and Championship clubs would prefer someone with more experience and/or muscle, but let’s not forget that Saliba is also 18 and we are considering paying 25-30M for his services, just because he played 16 games in the top level.
    I guess a year ago Saliba wasn’t any better than Ballard, but playing one season (realistically half) in a top league made him a reasonable alternative to Mustafi. Would 1 year in Swindon Town do the same favor to Ballard – who is already part of the NI adult national team?

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