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Fresh Arsenal, Millwall deal a no-brainer for both clubs: Opinion

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That Millwall head into the final day of the Championship season with a chance of making the play-offs is a testament to the hard work of Gary Rowett and his squad. 

It’s a slim chance but given the financial might of some of the sides around them and the injury issues they’ve had to deal with this term, still being in the top six race at this point is a fantastic achievement.

Loan signings have been key for the Lions this term and few more impressive than defender Daniel Ballard, who joined from Arsenal in the summer and has gone on to make 33 appearances for Rowett’s side.

When fit, he’s been part of their strongest XI in a back three alongside Shaun Hutchinson and Jake Cooper with Murray Wallace and Danny McNamara on the flanks.

Rowett has made it no secret he wants to agree a fresh deal with the Gunners for the defender but has admitted that competition from elsewhere may make things tough.

Given the huge potential that the Northern Ireland international looks to have, it appears unlikely that Millwall will be able to prize him away from the Emirates permanently but another loan deal would make sense for both parties.

The 22-year-old helped Blackpool secure promotion to League One and has stepped up to the Championship without any issue but it’s hard to see him starting week in, week out in the Premier League just yet.

That means to ensure regular football he’ll likely have to be sent back to the second tier and returning to The Den, where has clearly enjoyed his football and can continue to learn from the likes of Hutchinson, Cooper, and, assuming he remains at the club, Alex Pearce, makes a lot of sense.

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There may well be competition from elsewhere but it’s hard to argue there’s a better destination than Millwall, who will want to battle for the top six again next term.

From the Lions’ perspective, keeping the defensive trio together for another campaign would be a wise move – particularly given they may have to replace Jed Wallace.

The departure of their talisman could make it a busy summer so locking down a fresh loan for Ballard should be something to get sorted early.

It should be a deal that Arsenal are open to, even if it is just to continue to rise the value of an asset they can cash in on in future.


London-based sports journalist at Snack Media EFL accredited, graduate of New Associates and the University of Brighton

ScoopDragon Football News Network

Article title: Fresh Arsenal, Millwall deal a no-brainer for both clubs: Opinion

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