Arsenal have a number of young players out on loan this season – and one of them turned in a man of the match performance on Saturday afternoon.

Defender Daniel Ballard isn’t particularly close to the Arsenal first team, so he moved out on loan to Blackpool earlier this month for first-team experience.

On Saturday, the Tangerines beat Milton Keynes Dons 1-0 at Bloomfield Road, with winger Sullay Kaikai bagging the only goal of the game in the second half.

How Celtic can change their fortunes in crucial Pittodrie clash

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It’s been a tricky start to the season for Blackpool, so the clean sheet was a welcome boost for boss Neil Critchley – and Ballard played a key role.

The 21-year-old already has three caps for Northern Ireland on the international stage, but needs regular first-team playing time in domestic action if he’s to make the grade at Arsenal.

Blackpool have given him that chance, and they confirmed on their official Twitter account that Ballard had been named man of the match for his display against MK Dons.

Photo by Dave Howarth – CameraSport via Getty Images

Fans took to Twitter to rave about Ballard, branding him ‘cracking’, ‘superb’ and ‘so good’ after his display on Saturday.

Others think that Ballard is a leader in the making, and believe he was Blackpool’s best player in their win whilst backing him for a big future.

Photo by Dave Howarth – CameraSport via Getty Images

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