Sunderland look set to welcome Daniel Ballard again to first-team motion within the coming weeks, in what’s undoubtedly an enormous increase for Tony Mowbray forward of the busy Christmas interval.
The Black Cats signed the centre-back from Arsenal throughout the summer season and he appeared set to be a mainstay on the Stadium of Gentle, beginning the first three fixtures within the second tier.
Nonetheless, he would fracture his foot within the 2-2 draw towards QPR in August and understandably hasn’t featured since, however it appears as if he’s now nearing a return to full health.
The World Cup break arguably got here at a superb time for Sunderland, because it has allowed the likes of Ballard and Ross Stewart to proceed their restoration without having to be rushed again, and it appears as if each will now make their aggressive returns earlier than the brand new 12 months.
Mowbray confirmed the newest on the 23-year-old defender in an damage replace earlier this week, saying:
“We don’t assume Dan Ballard is simply too far behind both – somebody simply mentioned within the dressing room there’s two of our best gamers, we are able to solely get higher. Let’s hope that proves to be the case.”
Will Ballard be a starter when match?
Ballard arrived on the Stadium of Gentle with an enormous fame, having impressed in mortgage spells with Blackpool and Millwall in every of the final two seasons.
Throughout his time at Bloomfield Highway, the place he helped the Tangerines to promotion again to the Championship, Ballard earned an enormous quantity of reward from former supervisor Neil Critchley.
“He performed like a person on the market at present. Actually assured (his) defending was excellent up towards good strikers, some skilled strikers. He saved all of them quiet at present, actually happy with Dan and he’s had a extremely good begin to his Blackpool profession.”
After averaging a robust 6.93 score from WhoScored for his performances with Millwall within the Championship final season, Ballard clearly has what it takes to be an necessary member of Sunderland’s squad for the remainder of the season.
The 23-year-old may discover it powerful to oust the likes of Danny Batth and Aji Alese in Mowbray’s aspect given their respective type however it’s undoubtedly excellent news for the Black Cats that he’s practically again to full health.