Jack Ross believes some of Sunderland’s promising youngsters should have been loaned out earlier in their careers – and is confident they will come back better for their experiences.
Since taking charge Ross has always been keen to loan out fringe squad members to further their development in competitive games, rather than wait for the odd first team game.
Max Stryjek is enjoying an initial month-long loan at Eastleigh, Luke Molyneux is at Gateshead until January, while Elliot Embleton is with League Two Grimsby Town until the New Year.
Stryjek had a brief loan at Accrington Stanley last season and a spell at Boston three years ago but it is the first time Molyneux, 20, and Embleton, 19, have been loaned out.
And Ross believes the trio – and Sunderland – will reap the rewards of them playing regular senior football at a good level.
Ross said: “It’s playing regularly every week versus the odd game every now and then.
“I think there’s some of them who probably could have done with that [loan] before now. I think Max, Elliot and Luke could have done with playing regularly before now but now they’re getting it.
“Max’s form at Eastleigh has been really, really good.
“Elliot has had to work really hard to get in the team at Grimsby but I think he’s making a really good positive contribution now.
“It’s much better for them to be doing that in League Two or the National League, rather than playing the odd game here and there in the Checkatrade.”
Stryjek, 22, won Eastleigh’s player of the month award after an impressive September and they hope to extend his loan spell.
The 6ft 2in Polish youth international has won four of the five games he has played and kept three clean sheets and ex-Eastleigh boss Andy Hessenthaler, since been appointed Dover Athletic boss, was full of praise for Stryjek, who has ambitions to be Sunderland No.1
“He’s got a big throw, a big kick, he punches well, he makes good decisions and he’s very commanding,” said Hessenthaler.
Molyneux has started four times for National League Gateshead, while Embleton – and England Under-19 international – has also started four games, scoring once.