Sunderland have allowed young starlet Benji Kimpioka to go out on loan to Torquay United for a month, the Black Cats have confirmed.
A Sweden under-21 international, Kimpioka is rated highly at the club but has missed a lot of the season after having to undergo hamstring surgery in late 2020.
Kimpioka returned to action though earlier this month for the under-23 squad who play in the Premier League 2 competition, and was also in the squad for Sunderland’s EFL Trophy final clash a few weeks ago against Tranmere Rovers.
The striker has league experience, coming off the bench four times in League One last season and scoring his first Sunderland goal in a 1-1 draw with Coventry, but he would have found chances hard to come by for the rest of the season due to the form of Charlie Wyke and the return to fitness of January signing Ross Stewart.
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So Kimpioka is heading on the long trip down to Torquay United, who are flying high in the National League and are managed by Lee Johnson’s dad, Gary.
Kimpioka is expected to get regular minutes at the Gulls and game-time could help him develop into a first-team player for Sunderland next season.
This is a smart move for Sunderland by sending Kimpioka to a National League club.
It will definitely toughen him up playing against strong defenders and with Kimpioka going to a club managed by Lee Johnson’s dad, you can almost guarantee he will be a regular player.
It will also be ideal for Kimpioka’s recovery though – hamstring surgery can hamper some players especially if they’re quick forwards, so the Swede will be hoping to knuckle down and bag some goals before returning to Wearside next season.