Benji Kimpioka's verdict on his Sunderland breakthrough season and target for next year

Sunderland's Benjamin Kimpioka.
Sunderland's Benjamin Kimpioka.

Sunderland forward Benji Kimpioka admits he is happy to remain on Wearside, but hinted towards a desire to play regular football.

The 19-year-old, signed for the Black Cats as an academy player from IK Sirius in 2016, made his League One debut against Peterborough last season.

Kimpioka then scored just 123 seconds in to his second Sunderland appearance against Carlisle United in the Checkatrade Trophy group stages.

But the Knivsta-born youngster will be hoping to muscle his way into manager Jack Ross’ plans and feature more regularly as Sunderland target promotion to the Championship at the second attempt.

Speaking to the Swedish media about his breakout season, Kimpioka said: "A good year. You are never satisfied, always want to have more as a football player, but I take this year as a lesson for myself. Hopefully more will happen in the future.

"A good start. I am grateful for that."

The raw youngster has just one year remaining on his contract and with the club desperate to avoid another Josh Maja saga, chairman Stewart Donald suggested he could be ostracised next season unless he commits his future to the club.

Kimpioka added: "You get to see what happens. As it looks now, I remain in Sunderland, which I am happy about. As long as I play football I am happy.”

If Kimpioka does sign a new contract Ross opt to send him out on loan next season in search of the first-team football and experience he desires.