Sunderland could be heading for an all too familiar mistake…
The Black Cats have several members of the first-team squad out of contract in the summer, ranging from veteran trio Aiden McGeady, Grant Leadbitter and Danny Graham to some emerging young hopefuls like Jack Diamond and Denver Hume.
One name that falls into the latter category is Elliott Embleton. The 21-year-old midfielder has been out for much of the season through injury but did appear against Burton Albion prior to Phil Parkinson’s sacking.
He also impressed in an EFL Trophy outing at Fleetwood Town with some reports suggesting that he was the ‘creative spark’ that they had been lacking.
Indeed, it’s going to be very important to tie him to a new deal, something that the north-east giants have never really got right. The fact that he’s been allowed to enter the final six to seven months of his deal speaks volumes.
The Stadium of Light could soon see another Josh Maja situation should they not resolve it in due course.
Embleton is one of the more promising players to come through the Academy of Light, picking up ten caps for the England U20 squad whilst he impressed at Grimbsy Town on loan too.
Then-Black Cats boss Jack Ross lauded his young midfielder at the time, he said:
“Embleton has been terrific since he came back for pre-season. You can see what he can provide in the final third, so I was pleased with that.”
Even Parkinson lauded Embleton in pre-season, dubbing him the “standout” from their victory over Gateshead.
He is very much highly-rated in Tyne and Wear, so he really does deserve to be offered new terms and we’ve already seen with Johnson this week that he isn’t afraid to hand the reins to youth when the time is right after starting Diamond in midweek.
If there’s anything to come from this new era, then Sunderland have to start keeping hold of their youth.
AND in other news, Sunderland must offload “hustler” before he robs Dreyfus blind…