Millwall boss Gary Rowett is the latest boss to confirm they want to keep an Arsenal loanee, centre-back Daniel Ballard.

West Bromwich Albion v Millwall - Sky Bet Championship - The Hawthorns Millwall s Daniel Ballard celebrates scoring his side s first goal of the game during the Sky Bet Championship match at The Hawthorns, West Bromwich. Picture date: Saturday September 11, 2021. Copyright: David Davies
West Bromwich Albion v Millwall – Sky Bet Championship – The Hawthorns Millwall s Daniel Ballard celebrates scoring his side’s first goal of the game during the Sky Bet Championship match at The Hawthorns, West Bromwich. Picture date: Saturday, September 11, 2021. Copyright: David Davies

A number of Arsenal loanees have proven popular with their temporary clubs this season, to the extent that their moves are likely to end up not being quite so temporary.

Marseille have decided to sign Matteo Guendouzi and have publicly confirmed they want William Saliba as well.

Stuttgart plan to sign Konstantinos Mavropanos whether they get relegated or not. Lucas Torreira’s agent has confirmed Fiorentina want to bring him in for a permanent deal.

Now, Millwall manager Gary Rowett has admitted they’d love to keep Daniel Ballard, though they aren’t too confident as it stands.

“Someone like Dan Ballard, I’ve said it before, we’d love to keep him at the club, whether that’s on loan or whether that’s permanently,” Rowett said.

“But he’s Arsenal’s player and I’m sure they’ve got a plan for him long-term that’s maybe not the exact one we would hope for.

“We’ll see. We’ll get through to the end of the season and see where we are then.”

Millwall defender Daniel Ballard warming up prior to the EFL Sky Bet Championship match between Millwall and Fulham at The Den, London, England on 17 August 2021. Copyright: Simon Traylen
Millwall defender Daniel Ballard warming up prior to the EFL Sky Bet Championship match between Millwall and Fulham at The Den, London, England on 17 August 2021. Copyright: Simon Traylen

It’s not impossible that Arsenal might consider another loan move for Ballard, considering his injury setback this season.

The centre-back has just recently returned from three months out enforced by knee surgery.

Ballard had played more minutes than any other Arsenal player (loan or otherwise) before his injury, making 21 appearances for Millwall in all competitions. But the extended absence will obviously have an impact on his progression.

Rowett is right to point out that it’s ultimately up to Arsenal, though.

If they find a better move for Ballard or want to integrate him into the first team, there’s not going to be much Millwall can do.

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Arsenal fan since a young age, now a season ticket holder who enjoys writing, tweeting and making videos about the Gunners.