Southend United striker returns to Sunderland after short loan spell
Benji Kimpioka has returned to Sunderland after making just two appearances during a loan spell at Southend.
The Swedish striker, 21, joined the National League club on a month-long deal at the end of September after a deadline day move to Hartlepool United collapsed.
Yet Kimpioka struggled to get into the side at Roots Hall, amid repeated protests against chairman Ron Martin.
Southend are 21st in the National League table and sacked manager Phil Brown after a 4-0 home defeat by Chesterfield earlier this month – a game which Kimpioka started.
The striker wasn’t in the squad for the side’s next game, a 3-0 defeat at Dagenham and Redbridge, before his short-term contract expired.
Kimpioka, who made 10 appearances during a loan spell at Torquay in the National League last season, only made one other appearance for the Blues during a 2-0 defeat at Solihull Moors.
Sunderland were keen to send some of their younger players, the likes of Josh Hawkes and Jack Diamond, out on loan this season to gain more experience of first-team football.
The Black Cats also allowed goalkeeper Anthony Patterson, 21, to join National League side Notts County on loan following the arrival of Thorben Hoffmann at the Stadium of Light.
Kimpioka will now resume training with Sunderland’s under-23 squad ahead of Monday’s Premier League 2, Division 2, fixture at Reading.
Players can’t be loaned out to other EFL clubs until January, meaning Sunderland would have to send the striker to another National League club if they did seek an immediate move.