Neil Critchley has told Blackpool’s official website that Daniel Ballard has been terrific to work with as the youngster’s loan from Arsenal was extended on Tuesday.
Ballard initially joined the League One side in the summer until the end of this month. The 21-year-old has made seven appearances in the third tier.
And he has done enough to convince the Seasiders to extend his loan from Arsenal. The club have confirmed on their official website that he will stay for the rest of the season.
And following the announcement, Critchley outlined just how impressed he has been by the Northern Ireland international since his arrival.
“Daniel plays like a leader, with real character and personality on the pitch. He’s been terrific to work with and will continue to improve and get better,” he told the club’s official website.
“We thank Arsenal for entrusting us with Daniel’s development and now look forward to having him for the second part of the season.”
Ballard would have known how tough a task he faced trying to prove himself to Mikel Arteta. Arsenal boast a number of centre-backs in the first-team. So the path is incredibly congested.
But Critchley’s praise of his leadership should certainly catch the Gunners boss’ eye. And given that he is now an international with a handful of caps, he can set his sights on a career at the higher levels.
He now needs to cement his spot in the Blackpool side and perhaps help the club push towards the top six in the coming weeks and months.