Arsenal have a wealth of defenders on their books at present, and one relatively unknown is impressing for his country.
Daniel Ballard is currently spending the season on loan with Blackpool in League One, but has missed his side’s last two matches due to being with the Northern Ireland squad.
The 21 year-old impressed against the USA in a friendly match yesterday despite being at fault for giving away the match-winning penalty, although replays of the incident show that he made contact with the ball.
This error didn’t deter the Belfast Telegraph from awarding the Arsenal youngster their joint-highest rating for the fixture (an eight out of 10).
The publication even moves to describe him as a ‘huge talent’ following his sixth senior appearance for his country, but where he ranks amongst Arsenal’s defenders is anybody’s guess.
The Gunners already have Pablo Mari, Calum Chambers, David Luiz, Rob Holding and Gabriel Magalhaes vying for minutes in the first-team at present, while Mavropanos, Saliba, McGuinness, Harry Clarke and Zech Medley have all been playing regular football out on loan this term also.
Ballard and Mavropanos are the only of those loanees to be playing for their senior international sides at present, but whether that will get the attention of manager Mikel Arteta remains to be seen.
Will the Spaniard be looking closely at his loanees during the break?