Sunderland midfielder Elliot Embleton is still attracting transfer interest from Blackpool following his loan spell at Bloomfield Road last season, according to Alan Nixon.
The 22-year-old has struggled to break into the Black Cats’ senior squad in recent years despite being thought of by fans as one of the club’s best youngsters, playing just 14 times in the previous four seasons.
Due to his lack of game-time in the 2020-21 campaign, Embleton was sent out on loan to Sunderland’s promotion rivals Blackpool for the second half of the season, and he proved to be an effective part of the team that helped the Seasiders into the Championship.
Whilst Sunderland faltered against Lincoln City in the semi-finals, Blackpool got past Oxford United and Embleton was on target in the first leg, and then supplied an assist for one of Kenny Dougall’s two goals in the final.
Quiz: What was the score the last time Sunderland played each of these 25 teams?
It’s expected that Embleton will be in Johnson’s plans for the 2021-22 campaign – especially as the club have just released three senior central midfielders – but the transfer interest from Neil Critchley’s side will not dissipate.
According to Nixon the Seasiders are still looking at a deal for Embleton, and it will be interesting to see if he wants to stick with the Wearsiders or make the jump into the Championship.
With a real lack of midfield options as pre-season begins, Lee Johnson is going to be able to have a real good look at Embleton as he re-enters the fold at the Academy of Light.
Johnson actually played the 22-year-old seven times in League One before deciding that Blackpool would be the best location for Embleton for the rest of the season, and if he was good enough for a team that ended up being promoted to the Championship then surely he’s good enough for the Black Cats this upcoming season.
That all depends where Embleton’s head is at though – he knows that Critchley clearly rates him and a transfer to Blackpool could see him play regularly in the second tier instead of the third.
Sunderland though are likely not to want to let Embleton leave cheaply, so it may all depend on the midfielder forcing through a move if it’s actually going to happen.