Midfielder reveals first team target ahead of big season at Sunderland

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Elliot Embleton is targeting further first-team involvement in the 2020/21 season – having recovered from a troublesome hamstring injury.

The youngster was on the periphery of the Black Cats’ first-team squad last season but saw any hopes of a breakthrough halted by a niggling injury in the latter half of the campaign.

Embleton was able to benefit from the suspension of football in March as he worked on his fitness and, having now fully recovered, the attacking midfielder says he is hoping to force his way into Parkinson’s plans.

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“It was obviously a shame about the way the season ended, but it gave me another few months to build the strength in my leg back up,” he said, speaking to safc.com.

Elliot EmbletonElliot Embleton
Elliot Embleton

“I had some gym equipment at home, so I was doing my best with that while following a programme I had in place.

“I was doing plenty of running to make sure I was fully fit for when we returned to pre-season.

“For me this season it’s about getting as many minutes as I can to help the team win matches.”

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Embleton’s recovery has also handed Sunderland a boost when it comes to the new League One salary cap, which was voted through on Friday.

The EFL have confirmed that any players who were aged under 21 on January 1 will be exempt from the 2020/21 salary and squad caps.

Embleton falls into that category, meaning his wages won’t count towards Sunderland’s £2.5million limit – while also allowing Phil Parkinson an additional space to add a new signing to his ranks.