Phil Parkinson gives update on Benji Kimpioka's Sunderland future and what to expect this month
Phil Parkinson wants to send Benji Kimpioka out on loan this month.
The 19-year-old featured in a number of matches after Parkinson took the job, with current first choice Charlie Wyke the sidelined with injury.
His form was mixed, but he did contribute a crucial late equaliser against Coventry City in a League One clash at the Stadium of Light.
The return of Wyke and Lynden Gooch to fitness has seen him fall back down the pecking order, and he has not featured in the senior side since the end of November.
Parkinson is in the market to strengthen his forward line further this month and providing he is successful in doing that, Kimpioka is set to leave on a short-term deal.
The Black Cats boss has already held talks with Kevin Ball on the matter, with Ball in charge of managing Sunderland’s loan deals.
“I spoke to Kevin Ball last week about the possibility of Benji going out on loan,” Parkinson said.
“What I’d like to do is have enough striker options where we can let him go on loan, because I think he’s at the stage where he needs to go and play in someone’s first team and show that he’s got that consistent level to be a first team player.
“Ideally, that’s what we’re going to do.
“We are making enquiries with other clubs about his availability.”
Kimpioka’s situation is of course complicated by the continued impasse over a new contract.
Sunderland have offered him fresh terms, with his current deal set to expire in the summer. The youngster is yet to commit, and earlier in the season his agent said that he did not want to go on loan elsewhere.
Parkinson admits that it would be up to Stewart Donald to decide whether Kimpioka will be allowed to go out on loan without signing a new deal.
“Obviously, I would have to speak to the owner for his stance on that,” he said.
“But for Benji’s development and for us to see whether he’s going to be a player, I think he’s ready to go and play men’s football somewhere.”