Jack Ross has delivered a firm warning to contract rebel Benjamin Kimpioka after his agent seemingly tried to hold the club to ransom over the weekend.
As reported by the Chronicle, Ross is not going to be dictated to by the player or his agent, given that he has a lot to prove. Sunderland’s boss has been the unwitting loser in a contract battle before, Josh Maja left last season after turning down terms.
This summer, Elliot Embleton demanded playing time before he penned a new deal.
Kimpioka’s agent tried a similar stance, stating over the weekend; “Benjamin would sign a new contract to play for the first team, not to stay additional years in the reserves or to be loaned out to another club, since it is in Sunderland he would want to play.”
However, with just four first team appearances to his name, Ross is not willing to be held to ransom by the Sweden Under 21 international.
“It’s straightforward for me. The truth is that Benji has been offered a contract – a good contract – and to date he has chosen not to sign it,” the former St Mirren boss said.
“I would like Benji to stay at the club, I think he has potential, the club has offered him a good contract, we feel, for a player that to date has some potential but has not achieved anything in his career so far.”
“You become a first-team player if you play in the first-team regularly,” he continued. “That’s how I would describe a first-team player.
“Once you prove yourself good enough to play in the first team regularly, then you become a first-team player, so for anybody to be told that you are a first-team player before that is…different.”
19-year-old Kimpioka began his youth career with IK Sirius before a 2016 move to Sunderland.
It seems that Ross is not willing to be dictated to by an agent or a player. He’s a man with far bigger things to consider than the future of a youngster who has barely kicked a ball for the club.
Joel Asoro and Josh Maja have both left the club after coming through the academy, but Ross won’t be bothered if the same thing happens here.
I wonder if the player’s family ought to be asking his agent to calm himself down a bit. He’s the one likely to benefit most from this situation.