Daniel Ballard looks the outstanding Arsenal loanee in the EFL this season

Arsenal appear to be following Chelsea’s lead in sending as many of their youngsters as they can out on loan to EFL teams to get experience playing regularly in front of big crowds, but as we know, not all these loans pan out the way we would want them to…

We had high hopes for Jordi Osei-Tutu who played in the first two matches for Nottingham Forest, but has since been on the sidelines with a hamstring injury. Miguel Azeez went to join Dan Cowley down at Portsmouth, but yet again injury early on has hindered his progress, but he managed to score a goal for the England U20s this week so hopefully will start playing more regularly for Pompey.

Doncaster Rovers have not had the best of starts this season, so Matt Smith has not been able to excel either. Tyreece John-Jules was sent to Blackpool and has been performing well for the Seasiders without actually scoring, but the Blackpool chief executive Ben Mansford has made it clear that he really wanted a deal for Daniel Ballard to come back after playing 30 times for them last season as they won promotion to the Championship. Mansford told the Blackpool Gazette: “I was gutted. I’m biased but I think Dan should have come back and continued his development at Blackpool, but decisions were made that meant he didn’t.

“He’s a real credit to himself and his young family, and I wish him all the success in the world, apart from when he plays us.”

Ballard actually went to Millwall and has played in all 11 games so far for the Londoners, and scored once as well. After stepping up admirably from League One to the Championship, it looks like he is well on course to making it into Arsenal’s first team squad in the coming campaigns…

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