Jack Ross gives Benji Kimpioka contract update and explains his plans for Sunderland youngster
Benji Kimpioka is yet to agree a new Sunderland contract but Jack Ross intends to keep him in the first team environment.
Kimpioka has one year left on his current deal and speaking in April, Chairman Stewart Donald spoke of the need for the Swede to commit his long-term future.
That has not yet happened, but Ross is relaxed about the situation and Kimpioka has been fully involved with the first team during pre-season so far.
He played 45 minutes against South Shields on Thursday night and Ross hopes that continued involvement could help convince the 19-year-old to sign up in the future.
“It’s [contract] still the same at the moment,” Ross said.
“For me, he’s still got a year to go on his contract.
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“I can understand the point of view of the ownership, because of the situation we found ourselves in with Josh last year, they’re keen to avoid a repeat of that but purely for me from a football point of view, Benji, I gauge it purely on, ‘is he ready?’
“So he’s one who, he’s not moved to the first team changing room but he’s training with me every day, he has done from day one of pre-season with a view to be around the squad all the time.
“That could change but as it stands that’s where he’s at and hopefully that might help resolve that [contract] situation.”
Kimpioka made nine appearances last season, scoring twice in the Checkatrade Trophy, once against Carlisle and once against Newcastle United U21s.