Everton’s academy graduate Beni Baningime is in a fight to save his Goodison Park career after another summer window saw the midfielder’s proposed loan transfer collapse.
Baningime has seemingly forever been a man on the cusp of breaking into the first-team at Goodison Park since his senior debut against Leicester City during David Unsworth’s spell as caretaker manager in late 2017, only to be left in the youth ranks as others arrive.
Idrissa Gana Gueye’s move to Paris Saint-Germain could have freed the 22-year-old to step up to the first-team squad, but instead saw Fabian Delph come in from Manchester City and struggle on the back of his £10million move and Jean-Phillipe Gbamin endure a season-ending injury two games into his Blues career.
Yet for Baningime, his last of 12 senior outings still remains a 21-minute cameo against Swansea City in April 2018, and now finds Allan and Abdoulaye Doucoure ahead of his name in the pecking order after Marcel Brands struck £21.7m and £20m deals for the pair.
The Brazilian and Frenchman’s arrivals could have come with Baningime departing on loan, but a deal to join Blackpool fell through in August despite the two clubs coming close to agreeing on terms.
Baningime had hoped that the chance to join the Seasiders would offer him an opportunity to kick-start a career already blighted by failed moves, after seeing a potential transfer to Denmark fade away in 2019 too.
Now, he faces another three-months in the Under 23s if Brands cannot secure a late loan deal before the window between Premier League and EFL clubs slams shut on October 16. And failing to secure a move could prove costly for the DR Congo national’s chances of ever making it at Goodison Park.
Baningime’s potential was there for Unsworth to see when the U23s boss was offered the first-team role on a caretaker basis, he even labelled him “terrific.” But each manager since – be it Sam Allardyce, Marco Silva or now Carlo Ancelotti – has seemingly failed to see that same skill.
As such, they have all strived to acquire their own midfield targets and left Baningime waiting for his chance in the youth fold, and one that never seems to be forthcoming any longer unless it is to make up the numbers on the bench.
A loan move, even to a League One side, would have offered the 22-year-old a chance to play regular senior football and display his real potential in the game. And if that was not good enough for Ancelotti, Baningime would have had more to show other potential suitors next summer when he will have just a year remaining on his Everton contract.
The clock is ticking for Brands to secure a move in the coming week.