Phil Parkinson will be hoping to keep his League One squad together at the Stadium of Light – but will Benji Kimpioka be a Sunderland player next season?
Benji Kimpioka admits that he is uncertain what the future holds for him at Sunderland with a four-year contract that was offered to him last summer going un-signed, he tells FotbollSkanalen.
With Jon McLaughlin, Chris Maguire, Duncan Watmore and co also set to become free agents on July 1 as things stand, you’d forgive Black Cats fans for forgetting all about Kimpioka.
After all, the 20-year-old forward has not exactly played a big part in Phil Parkinson’s plans in the last five months with just 27 minutes of League One football under his belt. Kimpioka hasn’t featured at all since a 2-1 defeat to Burton Albion in November.
Sunderland offered the Swedish starlet a new, long-term deal a year ago but, for whatever reason, a man who has risen through the ranks on Wearside is yet to commit his future to the club.
And Kimpioka, speaking to the press back in his homeland, has admitted that all the uncertainty has left his head in a spin.
“Sunderland offered me a new contract last summer, a four-year contract. I do not feel any stress, I am a Sunderland player and focus only on Sunderland. But we will see what happens this summer,” says a man who has frozen out under Jack Ross.
“It’s been a little back and forth, especially with the contract part.
“It has been an up and down period for me mentally with contracts and various club interests. It’s about focusing on the football and trying to get your feet talking. I am not complaining, I am very grateful for my season.”
Sunderland are expected to focus more on promoting youth going forward with talented prospects from the likes of West Brom, Newcastle, Leicester and Burnley enjoying trial spells in the north east in recent weeks.
You’d think that they would jump at the chance to keep Kimpioka for longer, especially with the global health crisis likely to limit the funds for new signings.