Blackpool keep close eye on loan favourites Elliot Embleton, Jordan Gabriel and Ellis Simms

Blackpool will continue to monitor three of the club’s loan stars from their promotion-winning campaign.

Wednesday, 14th July 2021, 8:00 am

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Neil Critchley on importance of Blackpool training camp in Scotland

That’s according to head coach Neil Critchley, who has dropped a major hint the Seasiders could look to bring back Jordan Gabriel, Elliot Embleton and Ellis Simms to Bloomfield Road.

The trio played a key role in Blackpool’s promotion from League One last season, securing the club’s return to the Championship after a six-year absence.

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Elliot Embleton is among the loan stars Blackpool would like to bring back

Simms, who has returned to parent club Everton, scored five goals in his last four games of the season to help the Seasiders get over the line.

The 20-year-old missed the play-off win at Wembley with a groin injury picked up in the last training session beforehand.

Elsewhere, Pool have been linked with permanent swoops for Gabriel and Embleton, who enjoyed successful loan spells from Nottingham Forest and Sunderland respectively.

On the prospect of the trio possibly returning, Critchley told The Gazette: “Ellis has had an operation, so he will be out for a lengthy period of time.

“When the players aren’t yours, the decision isn’t yours either because you’re governed by what other clubs think about them and decide. It’s never in your hands.

“Elliot is back at Sunderland and Jordan is back at Nottingham Forest and I’m sure they will be trying to impress in pre-season to try and get in their team.

“We’ll keep an eye on them, that’s for certain.”

One of last season’s loanees who won’t be returning is Dan Ballard, who recently completed a loan move to Blackpool’s Championship rivals Millwall.

The Seasiders were keen to bring back the Arsenal defender to Bloomfield Road, but the Northern Ireland international opted to remain in the capital with a side he feels is capable of pushing for the play-offs.

“It wasn’t unexpected,” Critchley said of Ballard’s move to The Den.

“We always know the loan players are never our players, so when a player does well for you, you always know it could be the outcome further down the line.

“Daniel was fantastic for us last season and I’m sure he’ll go on to have a fantastic season for Millwall – but hopefully not against us home and away.

“He was great for us and that was his and Arsenal’s decision and we wish him good luck.”

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