Football

Southampton must unleash Dom Ballard


Southampton have always had a fine academy and have produced some of the world’s best talents over the years.

The current Premier League all-time top scorer in Alan Shearer came through their ranks, as did two-time PFA Player of the Year Gareth Bale.

But in this new youngster, they might just have their next superstar if he can be nurtured to perfection.

Can Dom Ballard emulate Danny Ings?

Yes

No

No

He can surpass him!

He can surpass him!

Dominic Ballard is a 17-year-old marksman who has scored goals for fun in all stages of their youth setups and despite his age, he could come in and replicate the form of Danny Ings, who was a dependable goal scorer at St Mary’s over a four-year spell.

46 goals and ten assists in 100 games for the Saints is a fine return, especially for a side that flirted with relegation at times during his tenure.

If Ballard can take to senior Premier League football as he has done with the Premier League 2, then he is destined for greatness.

Having scored 15 goals and given four assists in 19 appearances in the under-18s division, he was quickly deemed in need of a tougher challenge.

 Now that supposed challenge is facing the teenager, he once again seems to be making light work of it.

Eight appearances in the Premier League 2 last season littered throughout the season brought a fine return of five goals and has earned him a starting place for this current season.

His form has not relented.

 Five goals in five games this season in that division earned him his senior debut, where he yet again scored. His goal on the 88th minute capped off what has been a remarkable rise to the top, and earned huge plaudits from Ralph Hasenhuttl:

“Absolutely, he likes to score goals” he claimed.

“He is there, he wants to enter the box and score goals and this is exactly what we like to see from him. He is absolutely a positive mentality player, he enjoys what he does, he invests a lot and this is good to see.”

With a goal-scoring record worthy of replacing Ings, perhaps Ballard could finally answer the striking prayers of Saints fans.

Last season, Armando Broja acted as a temporary fix up front but for a long-term solution, Ballard could well be their man.





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