Benji Kimpioka has signed a new deal with Sunderland AFC for one year, with the option of a further two year extension.
Benji Kimpioka Gets Chance to Prove Himself
Phil Parkinson stressed the need for Kimpioka to “get his head down” and “let his football do the talking” in the pre-match press conference ahead of Saturday’s clash against Charlton Athletic.
The forward had been negotiating with the club for over a year with his contract expiring in June.
Kimpioka has made 14 appearances so far for the first team, scoring three goals and notching one assist. The 20-year-old has featured primarily for the under-18 and under-23 side with a combined total of 80 appearances, 21 goals and six assists.
Since his contract expired, Kimpioka has been training in Sweden with his former club IK Sirius. Parkinson noted that the player “did really well’ in a recent physical assessment.
Furthermore, the manager believes that the player is “not as far off as we feared he might be” in terms of fitness and returning to action.
Parkinson Still Looking to Bolster Squad
Sunderland have had a busy transfer window including Bailey Wright, Aiden O’Brien, Remi Matthews and Danny Graham.
They have also made some younger signings including Morgan Feeney from Everton (21) and Arbenit Xhemajli from NE Xamax of the Swiss second-tier (22).
Parkinson said: “I would like one or two more additions, you always want more and if the right players become available we’ll get them”.
When the manager was asked about any outgoings, he said that he does not expect any players to leave the club.
When asked about whether his side needed an injection of pace, Parkinson admitted that “pace hurts [the] opposition”.
Kimpioka does add a vital element of pace in attack either as a striker or a winger.
Youth Players Protected but Must Deserve Starting Spot
Parkinson reaffirmed his stance on protecting younger Sunderland players.
He said: “Young players on loan have to be better than what we’ve got.”
Recently, fans were vocal about ensuring that the likes of Jack Diamond get match time. For now, these younger players are not getting first-team minutes. Diamond has been limited to playing for the under-23’s in the Premier League 2.
Nevertheless, the manager continued to reassure fans, emphasising that games would come “thick and fast” and that the younger crop of players would inevitably be called upon.
But, he also outlined why he is hesitant to start these players, who must “be ready and [have] got to deserve their chance in the team.”