Highly-rated Sunderland midfielder yet to commit to a new contract
Jordan Henderson’s Champions League victory with Liverpool again highlighted the success of Sunderland’s academy.
Highly-rated Elliot Embleton is in the latest batch of academy graduates looking to make an impact at first team level but there are growing doubts over his Sunderland future with the midfielder out of contract in a couple of weeks and yet to commit.
A new deal on fresh terms has been offered but it remains unsigned. Stewart Donald says his ‘gut instinct’ is Embleton will sign but there is growing concern he won’t.
Technically very good, Embleton has England recognition at Under-17, 18, 19 and 20 level and can play in several positions across midfield and in the N0.10 role, he shone during a loan spell at League Two Grimsby Town last season.
It would be a crying shame if Embleton was to leave Wearside this summer having never had the chance to fulfill his potential at the Stadium of Light.
"He’s been offered a contract," Donald recently told the Roker Rapport podcast.
"No, he hasn’t taken it, my gut instinct is that he will take it. If he doesn’t take it it’s because someone will have to come in and pay a fee for him.
"I think, with what we’ve offered him, I don’t think anybody would come in and offer him more than what we are.”
Embleton has been offered a two-year deal with a possible extension and Donald described the contract offer as a ‘very good contract’.
Reflecting on his loan spell at Grimbsy Town earlier this year, Embleton said: “I loved every minute of being at Grimsby. It’s been a really good experience playing league games and in the FA Cup.
“I feel as though I’ve learnt a lot and improved as a player physically, technically and tactically.
“The experience has changed my outlook and understanding.”
The 20-year-old made 31 appearances, scoring four goals and he was awarded the December League Two PFA Fans’ Player of the Month.
Grimsby Telegraph reporter James Findlater was full of praise, telling the Echo earlier this year: “He’s been the main attacking and creative force for the Mariners since arriving at Blundell Park, and has been a huge reason for the club’s improvement following last season’s brush with relegation.
“He plays with real intent on the ball and doesn’t show any hesitation in taking on defenders."
Fans will hope they'll get to see Embleton produce similar performances in a Sunderland shirt but his future remains in doubt.