While Sunderland’s main priority will be the play-off final this weekend, it is also nearly time to start making decisions on the futures of several players.
These include out-of-contract players like Adam Matthews and Elliot Embleton. In early summer, Sunderland must ensure Embleton’s future is tied up to avoid losing him on the cheap.
The England U20 starlet plays in central midfield and he was sent out on loan last summer to gain some valuable first-team experience.
Embleton headed down one division and joined Grimsby Town on loan. His time at Blundell Park has been impressive. In 32 games, the midfielder scored four and assisted four goals.
Most importantly, Embleton got minutes under his belt in senior football. The more he plays at first-team level, the better he will become.
Embleton could now be eyeing a breakthrough in the Sunderland team next season. However, he needs to earn a new contract first.
There are bound to be a host of clubs monitoring the 20-year-old’s precarious situation. He is a talented young player and Sunderland need to ensure he remains at The Stadium of Light.
If the Black Cats win promotion, Embleton should be loaned out to League One for a season. But if they remain in the third tier, he could get an immediate promotion.
Sunderland could regret losing Embleton if he does not agree on a new contract. Instead, he could develop into a top player elsewhere. This is why Embleton’s deal must be a high priority.