Sunderland look set to welcome Daniel Ballard again to first-team motion within the coming weeks, in what’s undoubtedly a giant enhance for Tony Mowbray forward of the busy Christmas interval.
The Black Cats signed the centre-back from Arsenal through the summer time and he regarded set to be a mainstay on the Stadium of Mild, beginning the first three fixtures within the second tier.
Nonetheless, he would fracture his foot within the 2-2 draw in opposition to 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 with no need 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 most recent on the 23-year-old defender in an harm replace earlier this week, saying:
“We don’t suppose Dan Ballard is just too far behind both – somebody simply mentioned within the dressing room there’s two of our best gamers, we will 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 Mild with a giant 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 this time. Actually assured (his) defending was excellent up in opposition to good strikers, some skilled strikers. He stored all of them quiet at this time, actually happy with Dan and he’s had a very 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 essential member of Sunderland’s squad for the remainder of the season.
The 23-year-old may discover it robust to oust the likes of Danny Batth and Aji Alese in Mowbray’s facet given their respective type however it’s undoubtedly excellent news for the Black Cats that he’s almost again to full health.