Lee Johnson has this exciting message as Elliot Embleton agrees new Sunderland deal
Lee Johnson says Elliot Embleton can reach 'another level' after the attacking midfielder signed a new long-term deal on Wearside.
Embleton is now under contract until summer 2025 after making a superb start to the campaign, firmly establishing himself as a central player in Johnson's plans.
The head coach praised Embleton's conduct in negotiations, which reached a swift resolution.
He says the task is now to get the talented 22-year-old to kick on again.
"We're really pleased," Johnson said.
"When a young player performs we've got to secure their future, simple as that.
"You need to get in a position when it's on our terms and I think Elliot and his agency have shown a really good willing.
"There was interest over the summer as everyone knows but he's a Sunderland lad, his dad is a Sunderland lad, they want us to do well and for him to be a big part of it.
"I'm really happy with that one and looking forward to trying to drive him onto another level of performance, because I think there's another level in there, or two, I really do."
Embleton's new deal follows that of Jack Diamond earlier this year, as Sunderland look to make academy graduates the cornerstone of their long-term planning.
Johnson said the Sunderland shirt should be a 'heavy one' but said these deals were a sign that the Black Cats would reward any player who shows the talent and application required to break through.
"You've got to be pro-active but of course, it only works if the performance is there," he said.
"You talk about potential and attributes, but you've got to see the performance.
"The Sunderland shirt should be a heavy one, whether you're in this division or the Premier League or wherever.
"You've got to adhere to a certain standard to play for Sunderland and to get a new deal you've got to adhere to that, not just on matchdays but every day in training.
"If we see that, then we'll be more than happy to come to our young players and say, 'we want to retain your services and for you to be part of our DNA'."