Lee Johnson's exciting Elliot Embleton claim will be music to ears of Sunderland fans

By James Hunter

Elliot Embleton can still raise his game 'annother level or two' after committing his future to Sunderland this week, according to Lee Johnson.

The academy product was the subject of interest from a number of clubs over the summer after helping Blackpool win promotion to the Championship via the play-offs in May during a loan spell with the Seasiders.

But the midfielder returned to Wearside over the summer and has become a mainstay of Johnson's side this term, and has now been rewarded with a new three-and-a-half year contract which ties him to the club until 2025.

READ MORE: Lee Johnson's message of support for Niall Huggins as 'bad' injury is confirmed

Embleton and his family are Sunderland fans, and the prospect of regular games for his boyhood club convinced him to sign a new deal - with Johnson certain that the 22-year-old can still get better.

"We're really pleased," Johnson said of Embleton signing his contract.

"When a young player performs we've got to secure their future, it's as simple as that.

"You need to get in a position where it's on our terms and I think Elliot and his agent 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 becomes the latest homegrown youngster to sign a new long-term contract, following Jack Diamond and Anthony Patterson earlier this year.

And Johnson says players will only be offered new contracts at Sunderland if they have earned them.

He said: "You've got to be pro-active but of course, it only works if the performance is there.

"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'."


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