By Alex Taylor
Defender Daniel Ballard has signed scholarship terms with Arsenal, the club announced on Thursday.
It has been reported that the centre-half was offered an opportunity to prove himself as a trialist in a recent friendly against Bayern Munich and was subsequently awarded with the scholarship deal.
Ballard, 16, will graduate from the Gunners’ Hale End academy base to their senior headquarters at London Colney.
Arsene Wenger’s side released a statement via the club official website on Thursday. It read: “We’d like to wish Daniel well as he continues his progression with the club.”
The teenager will become the 11th member of the north Londoners 2016/17 scholarship intake, following in the footsteps of;Reiss Nelson, Emile Smith-Rowe, Nathan Tormey, Josh Benson, Robbie Burton, Joseph Olowu, Toby Omole. Jay Beckford, Dominic Thompson and Joao Virginia.
The academy, which has contributed towards the development of the likes of Jack Wilshere, Kieran Gibbs, and Francis Coquelin has come under fire in recent years for failing to produce more high-quality talent, according to the Daily Mail.
Ballard will be hoping to go on and make a name for himself in the Arsenal first team in a few years’ time.