Sunderland could be set to offer Elliot Embleton a new deal at the Stadium of Light in the near future.
That’s according to Kristjaan Speakman, with the Sunderland sporting director revealing in an interview with the Sunderland Echo that he and his side are delighted with the progress that the midfielder made while on loan at Blackpool last season, and that he is expecting the 22-year-old to play a key role for Lee Johnson’s side in the upcoming League One campaign.
The 42-year-old continued by suggesting that, as long as the academy product continues his upward trajectory this season, the club will open talks with Embleton regarding a new deal in the not too distant future.
The director said: “We’ve been really pleased with Elliot. Elliot and I spent all of the transfer deadline in January making sure we got the right place for him [to go on loan] and we worked really, really hard on that.
“He’s come back and done extremely well in pre-season and is someone who we think can be a huge player for us this season and in the future.
“We took the option up on his deal when he went out in January so he has a year left, and that’s something that we’ll have a discussion on with him and his agent.
“I’ve spoken to Elliot a few times and he’s a Sunderland boy, desperate to play for the club, and like any young player he wants minutes on the pitch, he wants to play.
“Any club at our level, you need to see the performances as well. So at the minute, it’s just a conversation that we’ll get started in terms of wanting to retain him. I think Elliot understands how much we appreciate and admire him at the club.”
Considering the sheer amount of potential Embleton appears to possess, Speakman’s comments regarding the youngster’s regular involvement in the Black Cats first team next season, as well as the potential of the 22-year-old being offered a new deal by the club is sure to have left fans buzzing.
Indeed, over his 30 League One appearances while on loan at Blackpool last term, the £4.3k-per-week man bagged two goals, provided four assists and created one big chance for his teammates, as well as taking an average of 1.7 shots and making 1.2 key passes per game.
The midfielder also impressed in metrics more typical of his central midfield role, making an average of 1.1 tackles, in addition to winning possession 0.5 times and 2.3 duels per match.
These returns saw the man Max Power dubbed a “nightmare” for defenders to play against earn an average SofaScore match rating of 6.90, ranking him as Neil Critchley’s 12th-best player in the third tier of English football.
As such, it would very much seem as if Embleton can indeed play a huge role in Sunderland’s promotion push next season, as well as going on to star for the club for a great many years in the future – as Speakman suggests.