Defeats in the FA Cup against Mansfield Town and Fleetwood Town in the EFL Trophy and a League One defeat at home to MK Dons resulted in a torrid week for Sunderland.
With the team struggling to convince that they can mount a serious promotion push, it is time that Sunderland’s talented youngsters are given a fair chance to show why they deserve a place in the first team.
Sunderland’s Talented Youngsters Deserve a Chance
Several of Sunderland’s Talented Youngsters Good Enough for League One
Sunderland’s youngsters played in the recent defeat at Fleetwood Town. Although the Black Cats were defeated, their performance, especially during the first half, was the best of the season. Unfortunately, injuries during the game were the Black Cats’ downfall.
With some of Phil Parkinson’s more senior players failing to convince, the time could be upon the Sunderland boss to give his youngsters a fair chance at League One football. Just four who could step up and cement a place in the first eleven include:
Following an injury plagued 12 months, midfielder Elliot Embleton is back in contention for first-team action.
Against Fleetwood, he played his first 90 minutes since August 2019. An impressive performance has seen fans call for the attack-minded midfielder to see more first-team action going forward.
Earlier this year Phil Parkinson said: “I’ve always said to him that I feel he’s got a part to play somewhere along the line.
“Hopefully, we can get him involved. He’s a player of real quality; he can unlock the door with a bit of quality, and I feel he’s got a role to play.”
Diamond proved a sparkle while on loan with Harrogate Town last season as he helped the newly-promoted club reach the Football League for the first time in their history.
A winger by trade, the talented Diamond can also play as a wing-back or in a more attacking midfield/forward role.
Another forward thinking midfielder with an eye for a pass, the academy product has been tipped for a bright future in the game. Another who featured in the game at Fleetwood, he was also part of the team that demolished Aston Villa 8-1 in the EFL Trophy earlier this season.
Ball playing centre-back Taylor recently signed a new deal at the Stadium of Light and has the first team in his sights.
He has featured several times for the Black Cats in cup competitions, impressing each time. With Phil Parkinson struggling to field recognised defenders at times this season, Taylor should be given a chance.
Parkinson Was Keen to Give Sunderland’s Talented Youngsters a Chance
During pre-season, Sunderland boss Phil Parkinson said he was keen to give the clubs youngsters a chance to impress in the first team. His decision to omit Aiden McGeady from his first team squad was to give others a better chance.
As of yet, those who were expected to get more game time, or be included more in matchday squads, has failed to materialise.
Prior to the season beginning, Parkinson said: “I don’t want to block the pathway of our young players. We’ve got some good young players and I think it is time for the Elliot Embleton’s and the Dan Neil’s of this world to step up to the plate and be a part of our first-team squad.”
Senior Players Failing to Convince
Despite the Black Cats having a good start to the season up until the results of last week, several senior players have failed to convince that they should be in the starting eleven.
Strikers Will Grigg and Danny Graham have not scored in the league so far and hardly had a shot on target between them. The midfield has at times struggled to break down the opposition and in defence, despite not conceding in open play during the first six league games, have conceded eight in the last five.
The time has now come for Phil Parkinson to do what he said he would prior to the season starting and allow his young players to step up. Players with the energy and desire to show that they deserve to be in the team.