Arsenal youngster Daniel Ballard continues to make a major impression on the international stage, with the Belfast Telegraph giving the 21-year-old another 9/10 rating for his display in Northern Ireland’s draw on Wednesday.
It proved to be another disappointing night for the country. Ian Baraclough’s men had already been relegated from their Nations League group heading into the final game with Romania.
It did appear that they were set to end their campaign with a win. Liam Boyce’s goal ensured that Northern Ireland went into the final 10 minutes 1-0 ahead. However, they would concede a late equaliser.
The result means that they have ended the campaign with no wins. So there looks to be plenty of work ahead for Baraclough.
One player however, who could really hold his head up high following the last couple of results is Ballard.
The Arsenal starlet was not involved in the first game of the break. But he was brought into the starting lineup for the clash with Austria.
On that occasion, the Belfast Telegraph handed him a 9/10 rating. And the same publication has once again felt that he produced a near-flawless performance against Romania.
The Belfast Telegraph labelled Ballard the ‘pick of the bunch’. So it certainly appears that his stock has risen significantly during this international break.
And Arsenal will be hoping that he continues that form upon his return to Blackpool. It is asking a lot to expect Ballard to really push himself onto Mikel Arteta’s radar.
But if he continues to keep impressing for club and country, then perhaps that first-team debut at the Emirates may not be out of the question.
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