Since joining Blackpool on loan in January (immediately after signing a further contract extension), Elliot Embleton has made nine appearances for the Seasider's, gaining three assists in the process. In the second instalment of a three-part series, I was joined by Blackpool fan Lee Charles to see how our lot on loan are getting on, here's what he had to say...
"I like him. At first, us Blackpool fans were a bit confused as to why we needed another midfielder but as things have panned out we've really needed him. His very first game he came off the bench against Ipswich and he actually had a chance. He looked like a real player, but we didn't see that much of him. We were previously playing 4-4-2 with Ellis Sims up-front, but he was struggling to replicate Gary Medine's physicality but it wasn't really working. Since then, we switched to a 4-2-3-1 with Embleton in for Sims which has completely changed the way we've been playing, it's been incredible. A lot of it is down to Elliot Embleton pressing from the front and backing up Gerry Yates, and since then Yates has been scoring more goals. I wouldn't say he's set the world alight here, but he's just been part of a system that's seemed to have worked really well."
"He can attack, he can shoot. He's strong on the ball, players find it hard to get it off him. If you give him the ball, he can keep hold of it. He plays as the most attacking midfielder of a five, but he has a great engine on him. Kevin Stewart was keeping him out, and Matthew Virtue would have played ahead of him ordinarily but they're both injured."
WOULD YOU BUY HIM
“If there was an offer on the table, I think Blackpool would be very interested in buying him. Neil Critchley is a great coach, too, and has a history of improving players. Embleton's in a system that suits him as much as it suits Blackpool and it's clear that Critchley has coached him into this specific role. A 7.5 out of ten. At first, he didn't look brilliant but recently he's stepped up. If he keeps improving, maybe an eight."
After struggling for game time on Wearside, the minutes the England u20 international is gaining on-loan will be crucial to any first-team involvement he can have at Sunderland. Due to return with one year remaining on his contract next summer at the age of 22, the Durham-born midfielder will hope to make as big of an impact as possible in the Tangerine's final eleven fixtures (two of which he will be unavailable for, as we play them twice) to stand him in the good stead for any opportunities next season.