Sunderland may face the departure of yet another key player, following Jack Clarke, in the upcoming January transfer window, according to information from a reliable journalist.
In 2023, several players left Sunderland, including Ross Stewart, Leon Dajaku, Bailey Wright, Carl Winchester, Lynden Gooch, Isaac Lihadji, Danny Batth, Elliot Embleton, Alex Bass, and Joe Anderson, either on loan or permanently. It appears that there could be another significant player leaving the club at the start of next year.
Premier League club Brentford is reportedly preparing a £15 million offer for Jack Clarke to entice Tony Mowbray’s team to agree to his transfer. Additionally, a different Premier League club has shown interest in another Sunderland player.
Daniel Ballard, the center-back who joined Sunderland from Arsenal last summer, has made a strong impression with 33 appearances. He garnered interest over the summer but didn’t complete a move before the transfer deadline. West Ham United pursued him in June, but now Turf Moor seems to be his potential destination.
According to information from The Sun’s Alan Nixon, shared on his personal Patreon (via Football League World), Sunderland could potentially lose both Daniel Ballard and Jack Clarke. Premier League side Burnley has been closely monitoring Ballard in recent weeks and may make a move at the start of next year.
Despite Burnley’s interest, Sunderland values Ballard as an integral part of their squad, especially as they aim to push for promotion once again. Currently earning £15,000 per week at Sunderland, Ballard’s strong defensive statistics, including 4.5 clearances and 2.5 aerial wins per game, along with a 90.3% pass success rate, make him an essential asset.
Ballard’s ability to contribute offensively with two goals and one assist, as well as his versatility to play in defensive midfield, further highlight his importance to the team. Journalist Josh Bunting has even described him as a “stunning” center-back, emphasizing how significant his potential departure would be for Sunderland in January.