'Another eye-catching display': 21-year-old Arsenal gem lauded for latest international showing
Arsenal loanee Daniel Ballard shone for Northern Ireland on Thursday night.
The Gunners academy graduate hasn’t played a competitive game for his parent club yet, but he’s certainly making a name for himself.
Ballard was on loan at Blackpool last season and helped the Lancashire club earn promotion to the Championship.
The Arsenal defender is now on loan at Millwall and is firmly in their starting plans, having made five league appearances.
And on Thursday, Ballard won his ninth senior cap for Northern Ireland, and even got his first international goal.
He opened the scoring in Lithuania, converting at the back post in the 20th minute following Conor Washington’s whipped cross.
The Gunners man’s goal separated the two teams at the break ahead of a livelier second half.
Washington, Shayne Lavery and Paddy McNair also got on the scoresheet for the visitors.
Rolandas Baravykas halved the deficit on 54 minutes but it turned out to be a consolation.
Arsenal loanee delivers “another eye-catching display”
And at full time, two Northern Irish media outlets lauded Ballard’s display.
“First Northern Ireland goal and an important one too,” wrote the Belfast Telegraph.
“Part of a back three who performed brilliantly.”
They gave Ballard 8 out of 10, as did Belfast Live.
“Hard to believe 12 months ago Ballard had only two senior club games on his CV,” wrote the latter.
“Another eye-catching display from the Millwall defender who banged home his first international goal.”