Towering defender announces why he HAD to complete OFFICIAL Arsenal transfer deal

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Daniel Ballard has come out and told fans just why he had to complete a summer move away from Arsenal this summer

The highly-talented defender was a player that many of the Gunners coaches believed that would develop into a player that was good enough to work his way into the plans of Mikel Arteta

But with the fact that Arteta already has a number of players in that position already – and with a few more expected to be signed this summer – Ballard made the big decision to leave Arsenal – and had a number of suiters

However – in the end it was a move to Sunderland that appealed to him the most and he has now come out and revealed just why he had to leave the Gunners – Ballard told the Sunderland Echo: “Arsenal made it pretty clear that there wasn’t a pathway through to the first team at this moment in time,”

“I think we sort of agreed that it was the best thing for me to look for a new challenge permanently.

“There was a lot of interest from a few clubs and it was just about picking the right one to progress with.

“It’ll definitely be a bit strange not being an Arsenal player, not having that bit of extra support and going back at the end of the season, but I definitely think I’ve picked the right club so that I don’t need that.

“Sunderland approached really early, they showed a really strong interest.

“That was really exciting for me.

“I had a lot of chats with the manager and the people above him, and they made really clear that I was one of the key targets and that they wanted me to be the first player through the door for them.

“That gave me an awful lot of confidence, just that they really wanted me here and also to be a really key part of the team.

“There’s [then] a lot of work that goes on, especially because of the fact that it’s not a loan so between the clubs there was a lot of negotiating to do,”

“Obviously I don’t have any input in that so you’re just waiting, hoping that something can get agreed.

“We’ve got it done relatively early which is good, that was the plan. You want that pre-season so you can get settled, get to know the lads.

“This is a great challenge and I’m really looking forward to it.”

He added: “I think as a player my defensive skills have always been probably my main strength, it’s something which comes really naturally to me because it’s a side of the game I really love,” Ballard continued.

“I think my stuff on the ball is probably the side of the game I can work on, because obviously the game has changed a lot in the past few years, so that’s been a key focus. I feel really confident with that now and it’s something which I’ll keep going with, so I can hopefully be that really well-rounded player.”

Further Reading –

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