Why Everton should allow Beni Baningime to seek greener pastures
The 21-year-old has been a regular for David Unsworth’s U-23 side in the Premier League 2 but he is way down the pecking order under senior manager Marco Silva.
Baningime rose through the youth ranks at Everton before making his senior professional bow for his boyhood club in a League Cup fixture against Chelsea in the 2017-18 season but the youngster has been out of favour for over a year now, with Marco Silva not showing any intentions of giving him a crack of the whip.
The Congolese central midfielder was a surprise inclusion in Silva’s matchday squad on Saturday as Everton returned to winning ways with a 2-0 victory over West Ham, but he hasn’t made a single appearance at the senior level after featuring 12 times across all competitions in his breakthrough season a couple of years ago.
Baningime is still held in high regard by the coaching staff in Merseyside and while he is contracted to the club until 2022, it is hard to envisage him rotting in the U-23s for such a long period if he doesn’t get a clear pathway to the first-team.
The academy graduate is still in his formative years as a professional footballer but given that he is already 21, Everton need to make a decision on his future and they need to do it quickly.
He is at a stage in his career where he would ideally like to make the transition to the senior professional level from the academy ranks and if Everton really feel that Baningime is not good enough or there is already a lot of competition for places in the first-team, then the Toffees should not hesitate to allow him to seek greener pastures in January.
Baningime was sent out on loan to Wigan Athletic in the Championship for the second half of the previous campaign but an ill-fated temporary stint at the DW Stadium yielded only a solitary appearance and he has been forced once again to continue his development in the Premier League 2 this term.
The report doesn’t clearly mention whether Beni Ganingime is looking for a temporary move away from Everton or he is keen to cut all ties with his boyhood club in January. However, the former looks like a more probable option, with the youngster still having a lot of time left to run on the current contract.
Truth be told, Baningime’s prospect of getting first-team football in the near future looks very bleak, given that Everton already have more established and some international players like Tom Davies, Andre Gomes, Morgan Schneiderlin, Fabian Delph and Jean-Philippe Gbamin all competing for two places in the middle of the park every week.
To that end, a loan move to some other club, preferably a Championship outfit, would, indeed, be a fair settlement for both parties.
That would allow the youngster to work on the flaws in his game and make strides towards evolving into a more complete player capable of making an impression at the highest level.
The 21-year-old is really frustrated with his lack of first-team involvement under Silva and with so many players already competing for a central midfield role this season, Baningime needs take his game to the next level if he is really keen to break into the manager’s first-team plans next term.
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Conversely, letting him depart permanently in January won’t be the worst stance from Everton perspective if they manage to find the right suitor and the fee involved is good enough but arranging a loan spell would be better if the Toffees feel that Beningime has really got a future at the club.
That said, Everton need to part ways with Beni Baningime either permanently or on a temporary basis, keeping in mind the best interests of all parties involved.