Sunderland boss issues major Elliot Embleton update after loan conversations

Sunderland are set to welcome the attacking midfielder back to the field on Saturday

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Elliot Embleton is set to make his first Sunderland appearance of 2023 on Saturday after the club opted not to send the attacking midfielder out on loan.

Embleton suffered a nasty injury at Hull City last December and has only returned to full training over the course of the last fortnight.

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With competition for places in the attacking midfield positions significant, Embleton is likely to be used as an impact substitute in the short term.

Mowbray confirmed on Thursday that he expects the 24-year-old to 'get on the pitch' at some stage against Southampton this weekend, and believes he has something to offer the team in the weeks and months ahead.

After talks with the player both have agreed that a loan wouldn't be the best move at this stage, and that the right solution is to reassess the situation around the time of the January window.

Mowbray believes there is every chance that Embleton will have played his way into an important role by then.

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"We've had debates about Embo, whether we're going to send him out on loan because he has literally been out for eight months," Mowbray said.

"My own view is that I can see him bringing something to this team. I've said to him that I don't see him starting straight away and if we sign another few strikers... let's see and reassess in January where we're at.

"I just think he's got qualities that this team could thrive off. We play with a lot of his type of player, we keep the ball and try to dominate it. I think he just fits what we're doing at the moment.

"If we do get a nine and a ten or a nine and a seven or a nine and an eleven, his game time might get squeezed as we bed those players in. At this moment, though, I think Elliot fits the model of what we're trying to do in terms of the playing style.

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"He seems happy for now to get his chances when they come but of course I know that somewhere along the line, he will want to play and be starting regularly. So that's what I've said to him, let's reassess in January and if he hasn't happy he can come and knock on my door. Then we can see what the options are and take it from there.

"But for now, let's hope he does really, really well in the next four months - scores goals and contributes a lot and forces his way into the team."

Embleton will likely be joined in the squad by Jewison Bennette, who has trained this week after recovering from a back spasm. One player who won't return to the squad is Lynden Gooch, who has not trained this week as he recovers from a hamstring problem that has caused him persistent trouble in the early stages of this season.

He is one of a number of players who could yet leave the club before the 11pm deadline on Friday.