Young Sunderland forward Benjamin Kimpioka is set to train with National League side Southend United ahead of a potential loan move to the Shrimpers, according to the Echo.
The 21-year-old has found game-time hard to come by at the Stadium of Light since making his league debut for the club in October 2018, two years after joining the Wearsiders from IK Sirius in his native Sweden.
Kimpioka made eight League One appearances between his debut and the end of the 2019-20 season whilst spending most of his time with the club’s under-23’s, but he failed to make it into a league squad last season and spent the final few months of the campaign on loan at Torquay United.
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In 10 appearances at the Gulls he failed to score but he did feature in a play-off final and now he could be set to head back to the fifth tier of English football.
Non-league clubs do not operate under a transfer window so they’re able to do deals whilst EFL clubs can’t, and Southend boss Phil Brown has registered his interest in Kimpioka and will view him in training later this week before weighing up a loan move.
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Kimpioka just needs to go out and get some football at this stage of his career.
High hopes were had for him a few years ago but he seemed to lose his way a little bit, hence why he’s seemingly heading to the National League and he’s not in the first-team with other youngsters like Dan Neil.
He has two assists in four appearances for the under-23’s this season and it doesn’t seem likely that he will feature in Lee Johnson’s plans at all so getting some much-needed minutes in senior football will be a good thing.
With Kimpioka’s contract up at the end of the season though, you feel as though unless he goes on a scoring spree in the National League then his time at Sunderland may be up and if he secures a loan move to Southend then it could be a bit of an audition to potential suitors ahead of the summer.