Sunderland manager Jack Ross has responded to young winger Benjamin Kimpioka and his agent after demands were made for the 19-year-old to see more game time, report the Chronicle Live.
His agent said over the weekend that he would only sign a new deal if he knew it would be to play for Sunderland’s first-team and not the reserves, but Ross has fired back.
“The truth is that Benji has been offered a contract – a good contract – and to date he has chosen not to sign it,” Ross told his pre-match press conference on Monday.
“I would like Benji to stay at the club, I think he has potential.
“The club has offered him a good contract, we feel, for a player that to date has some potential but has not achieved anything in his career so far.”
Last season saw Kimpioka make nine first-team appearances, scoring twice and assisting one more, but is yet to be given a chance in the current campaign.
With seven matches played, Sunderland currently sit in fifth place, winning four, drawing two and losing one, although they still boast a game in hand on three of those sides above them.
Last weekend saw them beat Stanley convincingly away from home with Lynden Gooch, Aiden McGeady and Marc McNulty scoring before half-time to secure a 3-1 win.
I can see where both sides are coming from in this debate.
Ross is clearly unwilling to commit to Kimpioka being a first team regular because he is yet to prove he is up to that standard and you have to respect his honesty to a large extent.
At the same time, it is good to see that the winger is not solely motivated by money. He clearly wants to be playing first-team football and has made that known to the powers that be at Sunderland.
I am sure that if that means leaving in the summer to fulfill that ambition of regular first-team football then I am sure he will do it as well.