Sunderland midfielder Elliot Embleton is in contract talks with the club to extend his current deal, head coach Lee Johnson has confirmed.
The 22-year-old, who came through the club’s academy, has finally been given a run in the side after spending the second half of last season out on loan at Blackpool.
That ended with Embleton assisting the Seasiders with promotion to the Championship through the play-offs and he even scored in the semi-final against Oxford United.
With a summer of change at the Stadium of Light, Johnson made a pledge to use more young players and Embleton has profited from that – he’s started all seven League One matches for the Black Cats, scoring twice and assisting three goals.
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Alongside Dan Neil, Embleton has been a revelation in the attacking midfield role and according to The Sun on Sunday (September 19, page 61) the club were in talks to extend his contract with his current deal expiring at the end of this season.
Now Johnson has confirmed this to be the case and he’s confident a deal can be struck in the near future.
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“It’s in hand, and we have been in contact with Elliot’s representatives,” Johnson said, per ChronicleLive.
“From my point of view, it is a case of maintaining the player-coach relationship and continuing to help Embo play as well as he has been playing.
“I’ve really enjoyed watching him every day in training. He has got great feet, and with the likes of him, McGeady, Pritchard, Dajaku, it’s a pleasure to watch these guys in training and the things that they do.
“He has to keep enjoying his football, he has to keep concentrating on the pitch, and let Kristjaan [Speakman] and Embo’s agents deal with the other side of it.
“I’m pretty sure that he has an appetite to stay, an we certainly have an appetite to retain him on a long-term deal.”
Sunderland have had a fine start to the season and a lot of that can be attributed to how Embleton has handled himself in an important role.
The ‘number 10′ of a team holds most of the creative keys and Embleton has been entrusted with it and he’s provided solid results thus far.
He’s keeping a more experienced man in Alex Pritchard out of the team right now and he’s clearly developing into a very talented individual.
Coming through the academy, you’d imagine Embleton wants to remain at the club now he’s getting first-team opportunities and being part of Kyril Louis-Dreyfus’ project seems to be an exciting one, so you’d imagine it won’t be long before he puts pen to paper.