Arsenal have announced on their official website that promising defender Daniel Ballard has signed scholarship forms with the club.
Here is the statement from the official website:
Young defender Daniel Ballard has signed scholarship forms with the club.
The 16 year-old came through our Hale End academy. He becomes the 11th member of our 2016/17 scholarship intake.
We’d like to wish Daniel well as he continues his progression with the club.
The youngster came through the Hale End Academy and the North London club have only just confirmed the news despite reports coming through two weeks ago that the contract had been signed.
Some reports state 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 the scholarship deal.
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 young defender will graduate from the Gunners’ Hale End academy base to their senior headquarters at London Colney.
Ballard will now be looking to follow in the footsteps of Three Lions senior international Jack Wilshere by eventually signing a professional deal, and then hopefully progress into the first-team and make a name for himself in the Arsenal first team in a few years’ time.
The youngster need not look until Wilshere as Alex Iwobi too graduated from the academy, and his rise into the Gunners squad is likely to be used as inspiration for Ballard.