Blackpool boss drops summer spending hint amid links with Sunderland youngster Elliot Embleton
Blackpool boss Neil Critchley has hinted that he will resist the temptation to splash the cash this summer – amid links of a permanent move for Sunderland’s Elliot Embleton.
The academy graduate impressed during his half-season loan spell at Bloomfield Road and was a key part of the side who surged up the table before achieving promotion via the play-offs.
National reports have since suggested that Blackpool are keen on making Embleton’s stay a permanent one, although Sunderland have long maintained that the attacking midfielder will return to the Academy of Light in pre-season.
With a year left on his contract, a fee would be required if Embleton was to make the move to the North West – but Critchley has hinted that he may avoid throwing money about this summer.
Instead, he is keen to develop the squad already at his disposal.
When asked by the Blackpool Gazette if he expected a busy summer, Critchley said: “I’d hope not but you’re always looking to improve the squad, always.
“This is a club that wants to move forward and we want to get better on and off the pitch, so the recruitment and the progress of the team never stops.
“However, I’m also a big believer that if you get the right players in, if you give them time and they play together, and if you believe in how you train and the process we follow, then those players will improve.
“It’s probably more relevant the higher you go, but the answer to how to improve your squad always seems to be about who you’re signing and getting the chequebook out. But sometimes you have to look within first and ask if you’re improving the players who are actually in front of you.
“We’re doing that and we’ve shown this season that if you get the right players in and train properly, then the players will improve together.
“Yes, we’ll be looking; yes, we want to improve the squad; but I’m also a great believer in the group we’ve got here.”
Speaking in April about Embleton, Sunderland head coach Lee Johnson said: "What we do know is it’s an easy decision in the summer with Elliot.
“He’ll come back and be in the squad.”