Manager says player he signed on loan from Arsenal has been ‘outstanding’

Blackpool manager Neil Critchley has raved about Arsenal-owned youngster Daniel Ballard, as quoted in The Blackpool Gazette.

Critchley has said that the 21-year-old, who can operate as a central defender or as a defensive midfielder, has been “outstanding” for his side so far this season.

The Blackpool boss was hugely impressed with the performance of the Northern Ireland international for his side against Milton Keynes Dons in League One at the weekend.

The Seasiders signed Ballard on loan from Arsenal in the summer transfer window.

The Blackpool Gazette quotes Critchley as saying about Ballard: “I don’t want to get too carried away with him because I don’t want to put a spell on him or anything.

“But he’s been outstanding in the two games he’s played and I thought he was nearly faultless defensively on Saturday. He has an assurance, he plays like a man and he defends well, competes well. I thought he was terrific.”

How has Daniel Ballard fared at Blackpool so far?

Ballard is a very good and promising young player whose versatility to play as a centre-back or as a defensive midfielder is an asset.

The youngster has hit the ground running at Blackpool and has already established himself as an important player in the Seasiders’ team.

The 21-year-old made his debut against Charlton Athletic at Bloomfield Road on October 20.

Ballard came on as a substitute for Grant Ward after just four minutes and looked very calm and composed, as he showed maturity both on the ball and off it.

According to WhoScored, the Arsenal-owned defender had a pass accuracy of 65%, won two headers, took 31 touches, and made one tackle, four interceptions and four clearances.

Ballard started against MK Dons this past Saturday and played an important role in Blackpool’s 1-0 win.

The youngster was arguably the best player on the pitch, as he looked very comfortable on the ball, did not take unnecessary risks, and seemed to have everything under control in defence.

According to WhoScored, the 21-year-old had a pass accuracy of 76.3%, won one header, took 54 touches, and made one tackle, one interception and nine clearances.

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