SOUTHEND United have signed a month-long loan deal with Sunderland striker Benji Kimpioka.
The 21-year-old trained for the Shrimpers for the first time this morning.
And Blues boss Phil Brown is thrilled to have the youngster on board.
“Benji is in a similar mold to Matty Dennis,” Brown said.
“He’s from a big club in a higher division and that’s the kind of mentality I want to bring.
“He made a few international appearances at the Under 23 level for Sweden, so technically that tells me he should be good enough to play in this division.
“But the main thing is his pace, it’s absolutely blazing.
“I’m excited to bring him in and that puts a damper on people who might think they’re an automatic choice.
“I now have a real competition for places.”
Kimpioka has scored twice for the Black Cats in the Football League Trophy and also scored in their 1-1 draw against Coventry City in League One in 2019.
Last season he spent time on National League loan with Torquay United as Gary Johnson’s side reached the play-offs.
Kimpioka made 10 appearances for the Gulls but failed to hit the net.
But Brown is confident the forward will do well with Southend.
“My former Boy Scout Leader Bob Shaw always said the first loan didn’t work normally, but the second worked,” Brown said.
“If the manager wants to sign it a second time, that’s a good sign and when a son lends it to his father, I think that’s a hell of a sign too.
“He had a problem in Torquay with his hamstrings but we had him tested.
“It’s a long way for him to come but I can’t wait to work with him.
“He has talent, an eye for purpose and pace.
“I hope these three things will be of great use to us and it is in my thoughts for Saturday.”