Arsenal's Dan Ballard to line up against Blackpool in the Championship next season after completing loan move to Millwall

Last season’s loan star Dan Ballard will line up against Blackpool in the Championship next season.

Thursday, 1st July 2021, 1:05 pm

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The defender has completed his move to Millwall where he will spend the season on loan from Arsenal.

The 21-year-old had been strongly linked with a return to Bloomfield Road, where he enjoyed a successful season-long loan spell last term.

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But a host of other Championship sides were keen on the Arsenal loanee, including Blackburn Rovers.

But Millwall are the side to win the race for the Northern Ireland international, Ballard opting to remain in the capital.

While Pool will be disappointed to lose out on one of last season’s star performers, they’ve already strengthened their ranks in the centre of defence with the signing of Oliver Casey from Leeds United and former Everton and Fleetwood Town man Callm Connolly.

Connolly recently hinted, however, that he could be utilised at right-back.

Ballard helped the Seasiders win promotion from League One last season

Neil Critchley already has Marvin Ekpiteta, Daniel Gretarsson and Jordan Thorniley on the books, while James Husband is also capable of playing in the centre of defence if and when required.

Nevertheless, it’s still a blow to miss out on Ballard given his impressive performances in tangerine last season.

Ballard made 31 appearances and was a key member of Blackpool’s promotion-winning side, starting their play-off final victory at Wembley against Lincoln City.

Arsenal were happy to sanction another loan move for Ballard, given he’s well down the pecking order at Arsenal.

Ballard, who has yet to make his senior bow for the Premier League side, finds himself behind the likes of Rob Holding and Gabriel at the Emirates Stadium.

According to reports, Arsenal are also interested in signing Brighton and Hove Albion and England centre-back Ben White.

Ballard clearly enjoyed his season-long spell at Bloomfield Road and, despite opting to go elsewhere, will always be fondly remembered by the Blackpool faithful.

"Thank you to all the staff, players and fans at Blackpool for making me feel so welcome during my time here," Ballard posted to his Instagram page after the conclusion of his loan spell.

"I loved every moment and it was even more special to finish with a win at Wembley.

"Thank you."

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