Phil Parkinson has highlighted the advantage of soon having Benji Kimpioka as another attacking option in his first-team squad.
The 20-year-old striker this week committed to the Lads by signing an initial one-year contract, including an option for a further year.
“Benji Kimpioka is a good young option to have,” the manager claimed.
“He’s signed his new contract for a year, with another year’s option in the club’s favour.
“Benji has been training over in Sweden which means he’s not as far away from full fitness as we might have thought. We’ll get him involved in some matches for the Under-23s to get some game time under his belt, and he can start pushing himself towards first-team inclusion.”
Having played and scored for the Black Cats at senior level, Kimpioka will now be looking to hit the ground running once more, and Parkinson has spoken openly and positively about a “big opportunity” for the Swedish forward.
“There has been much talk about him, and we want Benji to let his football do the talking.
“If he can push his way into the first-team picture then great, and if not then we’ll look to loan him out like we did with Jack Diamond – where he got that first-team exposure elsewhere.
“He needs to get his head down, concentrate each day, be the best he can in training, and he has a big opportunity with us.”
The boss pointed out that with the next few months throwing a demanding run of games Sunderland’s way, youthful attacking options such as Kimpioka and Jack Diamond are bound to prove a very welcome boost for the squad’s selection.
“Now we’re into October, we’re coming into a time where games are going to be Saturday-Tuesday – so all striking combinations are going to be utilised.
“We’re looking at the options we’ve got, everyone’s getting used to playing the way we want to play, and with the nature of the season we are looking at all options.”