The news of Jack Diamond’s new Sunderland deal is exciting and could hint at a new direction for the club.

That’s according to former Sunderland forward Kevin Phillips, speaking exclusively to Football Insider about Diamond’s future. 

On Wednesday, Sunderland announced that Diamond had signed a new long-term deal after an impressive season in League One.

Phillips has been impressed by Diamond this season and hinted that the decision to offer him a new deal could signal a change in policy at the club with Sunderland looking to keep hold of their talented young players.

“He’s been very decent, I was impressed when he came on at Wembley,” Phillips told Football Insider correspondent Dylan Childs

“He’s quick and very direct. It’s sensible business, you’ve got the player at the club, get him on a contract.

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“He’s developing under Lee Johnson and you’ve seen already that the player has responded.

“It’s a good bit of business and one for me who, under the coaching of the team who are up there, he can get better and better. 

“Exciting news, for once Sunderland are keeping hold of players.”

Diamond has one goal and three assists in 18 League One appearances so far this season though he has been an unused substitute in the Black Cats’ last three league games.

He made a half-hour appearance off the bench in Sunderland’s EFL Trophy final win against Tranmere in March as the club ended their long wait for silverware.

In other news, Sunderland chief personally pockets £700,000 from Championship club transfer.