League Two newcomers eyeing deal for Sunderland forward - if he's allowed to leave on loan

Harrogate Town boss Simon Weaver believes there is only one destination for Jack Diamond if he is allowed to leave Sunderland this summer - and that’s back to North Yorkshire.

The pacy forward caught the eye during a season-long loan spell with Harrogate during the 2019/20 campaign, scoring a crucial goal at Wembley to help Weaver’s side clinch a milestone promotion to League Two.

Now back training with Sunderland, Diamond is keen to catch the eye of Phil Parkinson – who, for the short-term at least, is keen to keep the 20-year-old at the Academy of Light for a closer look.

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There is still the possibility that the youngster could yet head out on loan in the coming weeks given a number of League Two sides are keeping a close eye on his situation.

Harrogate Town remain keen on Sunderland youngster Jack DiamondHarrogate Town remain keen on Sunderland youngster Jack Diamond
Harrogate Town remain keen on Sunderland youngster Jack Diamond

But Harrogate manager Weaver is confident that if Sunderland sanction a loan exit for Diamond, he will be returning to the CNG Stadium rather than joining one of their fourth tier rivals.

Indeed, Weaver believes the League Two necomers are ‘well-placed’ to pounce if a loan move does become a possibility.

“We’d dearly love to have Jack Diamond in our squad, but Sunderland just want a look at him in their pre-season schedule,” said Weaver, speaking to the Harrogate Advertiser.

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“If he’s not playing games for Sunderland or really in the match-day squad and pushing, I think there’ll only be one place where he’ll go out on loan, which is Harrogate Town.

“That’s the best we can hope for at the minute.

“I think they [Sunderland] have enjoyed him coming out on loan to us because he’s enjoyed his football and it has accelerated his progress and development, so we’re well-placed to get Jack back.

“But, his performances have made their manager sit up and take notice as well.”

Parkinson has indeed taken notice, having watched the forward frequently during his spell at Harrogate.

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"A bonus for us as a staff this week is that Jack Diamond has come in and looked really good,” he said, speaking to the #SAFCUnfiltered podcast.

“Elliot Embleton has trained and each day has looked better and better.

“Those two are kind of bonus players for us as well."

Diamond himself has also expressed a desire to push on and make a mark on Wearside.

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"Sometimes when you go out on loan you can worry that you'll be forgotten about,” he told The Echo last month.

"But my attitude towards the whole thing was that it was a forward step, and I feel like my game has come on a lot and now there's no reason why I can't go in there and impress and do what I can do.

"It's my goal to be in that first-team, it's what I'm there for."