Sunderland manager Phil Parkinson has been left impressed by young Black Cats duo Jack Diamond and Elliot Embleton in training this week, as reported by the Sunderland Echo.
Diamond, a 20-year-old winger, is back at the Stadium of Light after his successful loan stint at Harrogate Town, which culminated in promotion to the Football League.
The youngster, who grabbed the third goal in the National League playoff final triumph over Notts County, told the Sunderland Echo he’s now ready to challenge for a first-team place.
Embleton, meanwhile, has been able to play a full part in Sunderland’s pre-season campaign so far after an injury-hit season last time out, and things look promising for the 21-year-old.
“Elliot Embleton has trained and each day has looked better and better. Those two are kind of bonus players for us as well.
“So I’m not saying we’re looking for 10 players. Ideally we’d like to bring in another five and if we do that, we’ll then have cover in all areas.”
With Sunderland left reeling by the controversial salary cap vote in Leagues One and Two, the Black Cats will now have to figure out ways of navigating this new landscape.
Having homegrown players like Diamond and Embleton impressing in training and staking claims for first-team places, therefore, is a major positive for the Black Cats, and hopefully they can kick on further ahead of – and into – the 2020-21 season.