Daniel Ballard is seeking a first cap at senior level for Northern Ireland

Arsenal defender Daniel Ballard has been drafted into the Northern Ireland panel for the Nations Cup after the withdrawal of Tom Flanagan.

The 20-year-old gets his chance for the games against Romania and Norway after Sunderland’s Flanagan pulled out because of personal reasons.

Ballard has played under new senior boss Ian Baraclough at U21 level for Northern Ireland.

The centre-back has yet to make his senior international debut.

Ballard was in the senior squad for last year’s Euro 2020 qualifiers against Estonia and Belarus.

He has battled his way back from a knee injury – sustained on loan at Swindon – and made his senior debut for Arsenal this week in a friendly against MK Dons.

Northern Ireland travel to Romania on 4 September before hosting Norway three days later.

Oxford United’s Joel Cooper and Linfield’s Shayne Lavery were named in Ian Baraclough’s first squad as Northern Ireland boss.

Northern Ireland squad

Goalkeepers: Michael McGovern, Bailey Peacock-Farrell, Trevor Carson.

Defenders: Jonny Evans, Craig Cathcart, Stuart Dallas, Shane Ferguson, Conor McLaughlin, Jamal Lewis, Michael Smith, Daniel Ballard.

Midfielders: Steven Davis, Niall McGinn, Corry Evans, Paddy McNair, George Saville, Gavin Whyte, Jordan Jones, Jordan Thompson, Matthew Kennedy, Joel Cooper.

Forwards: Kyle Lafferty, Josh Magennis, Conor Washington, Liam Boyce, Shayne Lavery.

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