Despite being just two points off the top spot in the League One table at the moment, Sunderland are in the midst of a big injury crisis with the likes of Niall Huggins, Denver Hume, Dennis Cirkin and Luke O’Nien all out.
One other injury concern they have is with winger Aiden McGeady, who suffered a knee ligament injury last month and isn’t expected to be back until the new year.
With this in mind, Sunderland manager Lee Johnson could now have the opportunity to unleash one of the club’s youth talents to see if he has what it takes to perform in the senior side on a regular basis while McGeady is out on the sidelines.
21-year-old attacker Benjamin Mbunga Kimpioka joined Sunderland’s U18 side back in the 2016 summer transfer window and has since gone on to make a total of 94 appearances for the club’s U18 and U23 sides, scoring 28 goals and providing ten assists in the process.
Even though he has made 16 senior appearances for the Black Cats, Kimpioka only made his first league appearance this season during their recent 5-0 win over Morecambe where he came on for a 15-minute cameo.
Despite predominantly playing as a centre-forward, Kimpioka has played on both the left and right wings throughout his career so far, racking up 14 goals and six assists in 47 appearances in those positions.
With this in mind and the fact that McGeady will be out for the next few weeks, this could be a great time for Kimpioka to have a consistent run in the team to show Johnson that he is ready to be a regular senior figure for the club given his clear talent in front of goal across numerous attacking positions and solve the predicament of having McGeady unavailable.
However, with the majority of Sunderland’s injury issues coming in the defensive positions, it seems likely that Johnson will be more concerned with that area of the pitch rather than the attack, especially with Nathan Broadhead and Ross Stewart scoring 14 goals between them in the league so far this season.