Arsenal to hand defender Daniel Ballard, 22, new deal despite NEVER playing for club after shining in Millwall loan
ARSENAL are reportedly set to trigger a contract extension for youngster Daniel Ballard.
The centre-back, 22, has never played for the Gunners but is well regarded at the club and has represented Northern Ireland ten times.
And after impressing on loan at Millwall this season, Arsenal are keen to keep Ballard at the club beyond next summer when his current contract comes to an end.
According to Football.London, Per Mertesacker and Edu have decided to trigger a clause in Ballard's deal to keep him with the Gunners.
It is believed the clause will extend his stay by a further two years.
Ballard has started all but one league game for Millwall this term and has looked comfortable with the rigours of the Championship.
He has proved he is constantly improving after a spell in League One with Blackpool last year, helping the Seasiders to promotion.
But with a number of centre-back options available to Mikel Arteta Ballard could struggle to impact the first-team.
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Ben White has made a big impression early in his Arsenal career and Gabriel has arguably been even better this season – Arteta has also used Rob Holding and Calum Chambers regularly in his tenure.
The Gunners still have another defensive youngster in William Saliba to return from loan, and the Frenchman recently revealed he is eyeing a regular spot in the Arsenal team.
That means Ballard may move on in future, and by extending his contract Arsenal could cash in over the next two years.
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