Mick McCarthy’s Cardiff City have endured a terrible start to the season and are languishing in 20th place despite being fancied for a top six push this season.
The Bluebirds have struggled to create chances from open play this season which have seen Kieffer Moore, a top class striker at the level, feeding off scraps.
The form of the usually reliable trio of Curtis Nelson, Sean Morrison and Aden Flint has wavered but what we have seen has still been more concerning from an attacking standpoint.
Ryan Giles was expected to play at wing back when he joined on loan from Wolverhampton Wanderers but is now carrying the bulk of the creative burden.
In McCarthy’s three at the back system, without a natural playmaker in central areas, attacking productivity from the wing backs is crucial and with the second tier inexperience of Joel Bagan, Thomas Sang and Perry Ng the Bluebirds do not possess that.
To lessen the burden off of Giles the Bluebirds need to sign a quality creative midfielder to make up for the dip in quality out wide, where Cardiff had the likes of Harry Wilson and Sheyi Ojo last term.
Sunderland’s Elliot Embleton has demonstrated that he is too good for League One when playing a key role in Blackpool’s promotion and incredible second half of 2021/22.
The 22-year-old has also hit the ground running at the start of the season with the high flying Black Cats with five direct goal involvements in nine outings.
While Ross Stewart takes the plaudits Embleton is a crucial cog in Lee Johnson’s promotion pushing engine and is certainly the type of player that Cardiff City are missing.
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McCarthy’s philosophy seems to be in the main part, be extremely solid defensively and dangerous at set pieces, or at least he feels he does not have the players for it to be much more sophisticated than that.
Embleton would provide some variety to their play and would give the likes of Will Vaulks and Joe Ralls a fluid partner to link-up with in advanced midfield areas.
The creative contingent must be addressed in January at the Cardiff City Stadium and Elliot Embleton would not be a bad place to start.