Ex-Arsenal defender Daniel Ballard tells Sunderland supporters what they can expect

Daniel Ballard says Sunderland is 'the perfect place' to take the next step in his career.

Sunderland beat off significant competition to close the deal, and while the fee is undisclosed it is thought to represent a seven-figure investment.

Ballard made 31 Championship appearances for Millwall last season as they finished 9th, just six points short of a play-off place.

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He has told supporters to expect a 'traditional' defender who can bring something a 'little extra' to the squad this season.

Daniel Ballard is Sunderland's first summer signingDaniel Ballard is Sunderland's first summer signing
Daniel Ballard is Sunderland's first summer signing

“It feels amazing to be here and I’m extremely happy," he said.

"The fan base and size of this football club speaks for itself and having been up here to have a look around, it feels like an exciting place to be.

"Supporters can expect to see a player who loves defending and tackling – I’m more of a traditional centre half and I want to add those qualities to the team, whilst also bringing something a little extra.

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"I’m now looking to take the next step forward in my career and I believe this is the perfect place to do it.”

Previous to his loan at Millwall, Ballard was part of the Blackpool side who won promotion from League One via the play-offs in the 2020/21 campaign.Elliot Embleton was a team-mate of the former Arsenal youngster at Bloomfield Road, and he starred in a 1-0 win over the Black Cats during that campaign.

He will add significant competition for places in defence after Bailey Wright signed a new two-year deal on Wednesday.