Lee Johnson makes Jack Diamond prediction after youngster's impressive Sunderland display
Lee Johnson believes Jack Diamond will attract 'big suitors' in the future and feels the winger is on the cusp of making a breakthrough in his attacking output.
The 21-year-old was brought into the senior fold after a successful loan at Harrogate Town last summer, and has seen his gametime increase considerably since Johnson's arrival.
Diamond was handed a starting role for the 3-1 win over Plymouth Argyle, and impressed during a lively first-half display.
With Sunderland's play-off place still not secured ahead of the game, Johnson said his selection was a sign of the faith he has in the player.
Diamond has two goals across all competitions this season and Sunderland's head coach is confident that record will soon begin to improve considerably as he gets more minutes under his belt.
"It was an important game, and it shows the trust we have in younger players like Jack Diamond " Johnson said.
"I thought Jack was excellent, in the first half particularly.
"I've been talking to him a lot about taking bigger touches and being more direct.
"When it actually falls for him in terms of that final ball or that finish, I think he'll have a hot streak and he'll probably end up with big, big suitors after him."
Sunderland have already moved to secure Diamond's future at the club, with the youngster signing a new deal that will run until the summer of 2024.
Johnson said then that he believed the winger had all the attributes to be a Premier League player later in his career, and urged the youngster to keep demonstrate the attitude that has brought him firmly into his plans.
"It's just the start for Jack," Johnson said at the time.
"He's got a bright future but only if his attitude remains as strong as it is now. It's essentially an extension of our belief in him and it's up to him, to who knows, go and upgrade it again next year or in 18 months time because he's gone to another level.
"He has fantastic potential and some great attributes, and his performances are getting stronger and stronger as the days go by. We are very excited about Jack’s future."