Marcel Brands revealed earlier this week that Everton do not “expect” to make any signings during the January transfer window, as he instead works on offloading some of those players who ate currently frozen out.
In his efforts, the Blues’ Director of Football must strive to include Beni Baningime in those who depart Goodison Park, after seeing the midfielder prove to be an outcast of Carlo Ancelotti’s squad.
Bernard, Cenk Tosun and Jonjoe Kenny are among those said to be available for transfers this month, while the Blues are also hoping to see interest emerge in Yannick Bolasie and Mo Besic after neither secured moves away in the previous window.
Baningime has been a mainstay of Everton’s Under 23s side this season having started all 11 of their Premier League 2 fixtures to date, yet he has been overlooked for a senior call-up in all competitions despite captaining David Unsworth’s squad on six occasions.
The 22-year-old has not been fielded in the first-team at Goodison Park since Sam Allardyce stood at the helm in the 2017/18 season, with the one-game England boss handing Baningime eight of his 12 career senior outings.
Ancelotti briefly looked fondly upon the Everton product toward the end of last term when the DR Congo talent was listed on the bench for all bar one of the Blues’ fixtures during project restart, only for the manager to look the other way following the arrivals of Allan and Abdoulaye Doucoure in the summer.
Baningime is fast heading toward the point of no return on Merseyside with his contract due to expire in 18-months’ time, and with his market value slowly plummeting as TransferMarkt now value the midfielder at less than half of his career-high £2.7m achieved in 2018.
Ancelotti clearly does not feel Baningime is fit for the holding midfield role in his Everton side, given that we have seen Tom Davies enjoy a consistent run of matches following Allan’s hamstring injury.
Sam Allardyce had backed Baningime to continue his promising form seen during his tenure, that led supporters to laud his tenacious and tough-tackling style.
“He does seem, at such a young age, to be capable of playing at this level,” Allardyce said, via quotes by the Liverpool Echo. “If you want a hugely successful career in the Premier League and at Everton Football Club, whatever you are achieving now, you can only move your career on by achieving more.
“If you stand still, you will fall away – so the young lads have a lot of work to do if they are to get even better than they are now. Beni is showing the appetite to do that work.”
But the chance to progress has fallen away since Allardyce departed, and Everton may yet be able to use their former head coach in efforts to offload Baningime this month.
Former Premier League midfielder Michael Brown has tipped Allardyce to raid Goodison Park in the January transfer window as he strives to improve his West Bromwich Albion squad, and the offer of a Baningime reunion may appeal.
“Is there going to be a big sale at Everton? It’s a difficult market,” Brown told Football Insider. “You heard Sam Allardyce on Thursday, he’d been told yes to three or four and then they just haven’t materialised for him.
“At the top end of the market, where Everton are going to be looking at, I think it’s a different market when you talk about a West Brom, who I think will be looking at Everton to try and trim some of their squad.”
Selling Baningime this month would see Everton end the midfielder’s 14-year association with the club, with him having first joined the Toffees aged eight after moving to England from the Democratic Republic of Congo.