New manager Vincent Kompany knows that due to this, defensive additions must be a priority this summer, along with other positions that look to need a 'freshen' up.
With five weeks to go before the start of the season, it is imperative that The Clarets move quickly on the transfer front, and with this signing it would be a good start towards doing that.
Despite being at Arsenal since the age of eight, and coming through the ranks at The Gunners, Ballard has never made an appearance for the club.
He was impressive in last season's loan spell at Millwall, making 31 appearances in the league for The Lions, helping Gary Rowett's side to a ninth-place finish, with eight clean sheets earned.
Comparison to Burnley's centre-backs.
Ballard saw slightly more first-team minute than fellow 22-year-old Collins last season, playing in 31 games compared the the Burnley defenders 18 appearances.
With new manager Kompany's style looking like it will depend on the defender's playing out with the ball, passing accuracy will be crucial.
Ballard just bettered Collins in this area last season, with a 70.9 pass success rate, with Collins recording a 69.2, according to WhoScored stats.
The Northern Irish international was also stronger in the air, winning 3.9 of his aerial duels compared to Irishman Collins' 3.1.
Finally, in key defensive areas, such as clearances and blocks Collins wins out, however the two are matched for tackling success rate and Ballard has a higher rate of interceptions per game.
It is hard to compare the two, as they were playing at different levels, but given Ballard did better Collins in some areas, it looks as though he could be up there with who many suggest to be Burnley's most talented defender.
This is a tough comparison to make, as Long has massively lacked in gametime this season, only playing four in the Premier League for The Clarets.
However, despite playing in many more fixtures than Long, the Gunners defender Ballard was superior in aerial battles with Long only winning 2.2 of his, compared to the 3.9 of Ballard.
And the ex-Blackpool man also had a better average match rating of 6.93, in contrast to Long's 6.22, despite again playing almost eight times more games than the Irish defender who has been at Burnley for 12 years without really breaking into the side.
Finally, Ballard finds himself massively superior in tackles, interceptions, clearances and blocks per game.
Despite being a hard to judge the differences between Long and Ballard due to the latters lack of gametime and playing in a higher division, it is pretty clear to see that the youngster would be an improvement on the long-standing current defender.
Will Ballard be a successful signing?
In short, all signs point to yes.
He won't have to make the jump up to the Premier League so his stats still relate to the current division Burnley's are in.
And at the rumoured price of £2m it looks as though Kompany has pulled of a real coup here, in someone that is certainly worthy of partnering the impressive Collins.
If this is the first signing of the new era at Turf Moor, it is an impressive one, and one that Burnley fans should be excited by.