Torquay United boss Gary Johnson lifts the lid on move for Sunderland striker Benji Kimpioka

Torquay United boss Gary Johnson has hailed the loan signing of Sunderland striker Benji Kimpioka.

Thursday, 1st April 2021, 10:59 am
Gary Johnson, manager of Torquay United.
Gary Johnson, manager of Torquay United.

Kimpioka came off the bench in Torquay’s 1-0 defeat to Dagenham & Redbridge last weekend and Johnson – father of Sunderland head coach Lee Johnson – is looking forward to working with the young striker.

Johnson said: “He is a good player and it is a good coup for us to get someone in like him.

“He is young and he is enthusiastic and he wants to impress both of his managers – me and Lee – and he knows I am going to be honest with him, and he knows that somebody like me is going to be watching as if Lee was watching him.

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“The club deals with the club – it’s not me and Lee having a father-son conversation – and everybody was happy,” he told DevonLive.

“It is the opportunity for him to get some games after the end of what was a very long injury, which is now cleared up.”

Sunderland sporting director Kristjaan Speakman has previously said it is a ‘great opportunity’ for the 21-year-old to get competitive minutes after a recent hamstring injury.

Kimpioka recently returned to full fitness and has been a part of the first-team environment under new head coach Lee Johnson, named on the bench for the Papa John’s Trophy final win over Tranmere Rovers.

He had been in superb form before suffering his injury, making a significant impression in the U23 side after finally ending a long stand-off over a new contract and his future at the club.