The news of Elliot Embleton’s new long term contract should increase the optimism amongst those on Wearside.
Off the back of the news that Elliot Embleton signed a new four year deal on Wednesday, it remains clear what direction the club appears to be going.
Since the arrival of Johnson, Dreyfus and Speakman, Sunderland have certainly explored the more youthful side of the club with academy graduates such as Elliot Embleton and Dan Neil becoming mainstays in the side so far this season.
That, added with the youth specific approach in the transfer window with the likes of Callum Doyle, 18, Dennis Cirkin, 19, and Niall Huggins, 20, all joining the club, fans should be very optimistic for the future of the club under the current ownership.
It’s a huge change in approach in comparison to that of previous regimes, specifically Stewart Donald, who was happy to sell numerous youth players to help line his pockets and replace them with players that were far past their use by date.
Arguably, the biggest change is seeing the club pursue new contracts for these players at the earliest opportunity with Denver Hume and Elliot Embleton already extending their stay and word on the street that the club are actively working on new deals for others.
Bali Mumba, George Honeyman, Sam Greenwood and Josh Maja are just a few names that spring to mind that were sold for pennies despite having the potential to become starters in Sunderland’s first team.
Unlike in recent years, there now appears to be a clear pathway for youth prospects to make their way to the top of the club.
Dan Neil has become a fan favourite at the club and numerous other academy players have made their debuts so far this season with Kenton Richardson, Will Harris and Stephen Wearne all making appearances in the early stages of the Papa John’s Trophy and impressing at that.
For the first time in a long time, it feels like the club has a clear plan in place and it’s certainly one that I am excited to be a part of.