According to The Sunderland Echo, Jack Ross has said that he is planning on keeping 18-year-old Benjamin Kimpioka at the Stadium of Light for the rest of the season.
The striker could have gone out on loan for the rest of the season, but the manager has decided to keep hold of him, believing he could be an asset in The Black Cats’ promotion push.
With the departures of both Josh Maja and Jerome Sinclair this month, Sunderland currently look slightly thin on the ground when it comes to strikers.
Ross’ team have been linked with Championship striker Will Grigg, as well as League One duo Tom Eaves and John Marquis, but nothing has come to fruition so far. At this moment in time Kimpioka is a fail-safe, in case Sunderland cannot land anyone else.
However, while it will be beneficial for Sunderland to give the Sweden under-19 international some game time as the season goes on, particularly in a promotion run-in, Ross will certainly not want to depend on him too much. But by keeping hold of Kimpioka, Ross may be revealing more than he wishes to about the likelihood of their other targets arriving.
This would be calamitous if The Black Cats cannot land at least two of their three targets, and it could seriously dent their promotion chances. They will not want to be reliant on a player like Kimpioka, who, so far, has only made two league appearances. This is not the sort of figure a team wants in a title race.
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