Sunderland continue contract talks as young winger explains aims for rest of the season

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Ellis Taylor is one of Sunderland’s young players whose contract is set to expire this summer.

Ellis Taylor hopes to get 90 minutes under his belt for Sunderland’s under-21s side before the end of the season after returning from an injury setback.

The 21-year-old, whose contract is set to expire this summer, made his first appearance since January when he came off the bench against Middlesbrough during a Premier League 2 match at the Stadium of Light.

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“It’s always nice to play and especially at the stadium,” Taylor told the club’s website after the 2-1 defeat against Boro. “Hopefully I can get more and more minutes coming to the end of the season, build up that momentum again and hopefully finish the season strong. I think towards the last game hopefully I can aim for that 90 minutes and get that under my belt and just to start playing well again and finish the season strong.”

Sunderland’s under-21s side have two games remaining in Premier League 2 this season, against Liverpool and Blackburn, and sit 10th in the table following the Middlesbrough result. Graeme Murty’s side are set to finish in the top 16 teams, meaning they will qualify for the knockout stages of the competition. They would also qualify for next season’s Premier League International Cup if they finish in the top 12.

 “I said to the lads in there, we’ve still got two games to go and we have to just try and finish as high as we can,” added Taylor. “That top 12 is the aim and for me I don’t think we want anything less than that and don’t think we will get anything less than that.”

Taylor, who has been part of Sunderland’s first-team squad this season, is one of several under-21s players whose contract is set to expire this summer. Caden Kelly and Michael Spellman, who have both featured for the first team, are also among the players who are nearing the end of their current deals.

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When asked about contract negotiations following the Middlesbrough match, Murty told the Echo: “Lots have begun, lots are concluded, lots are in progress. As soon as we have some news to pass on we will.”

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