Carlo Ancelotti must begin to see more from Beni Baningime during his loan spell with Derby County if the midfielder is to prove that he has a future at Everton next season.
The 22-year-old moved to Pride Park on Deadline Day of the winter transfer window, but has struggled to establish himself under Manchester United and England icon Wayne Rooney.
Baningime has made just one Championship appearance lasting just three minutes with the Rams to date, while he’s been omitted from two of his former Goodison Park teammate’s following five matchday squads.
Baningime had been a fixture of David Unsworth’s Under 23s before leaving Merseyside last month, starting all 13 available PL2 fixtures and captaining the side on six occasions after being omitted from Ancelotti’s initial 25-man Premier League squad.
Ancelotti had named the DR Congo native on the bench for eight top-flight fixtures last term, though the last of Baningime’s 12 senior Blues outings remains a 21-minute cameo beside Rooney away to Swansea City in April 2018.
Rooney’s assistant coach, Liam Rosenior, has now explained why the midfielder has also struggled to get a look in at Derby since joining the Rams in a last-ditch move, while fellow winter arrivals Lee Gregory, George Edmundson, Teden Mengi and Patrick Roberts have featured frequently.
“Beni is another outstanding character,” Rosenior said, via quotes by Derbyshire Live. “All five players we signed in the window fit our culture and what we are trying to build here, which is a team ethic. He gets on great with the players.
“Beni has not played first-team football for quite a while but what he has done, and because we train so intensely, his fitness levels and sharpness have gone through the roof in the time he has been here.
“He is pushing, he is really pushing. He has been outstanding in training, he is pushing the other midfield players and I am sure, sooner rather than later, you will see him maybe come off the bench or even start a game. He is a huge part of our squad, like every member is.”
Ancelotti will have to see Baningime fulfil Rosenior’s expectations in the coming months if the Everton product is to prove that he deserves a future back at Goodison Park next season, as life on the bench is only proving his move to be a disaster so far.
It is not the first time that the DR Congo native has tried his luck at life away from Merseyside and flopped, either, having joined Wigan Athletic for the second-half of their 2018/19 Championship season, where he only featured once.
Like with Derby, his sole outing with the Latics came early into his time at the club – starting and playing the full 90 minutes at the second available chance – but he failed to make another matchday squad whilst the DW Stadium natives narrowly staved off the threat of relegation.
Baningime will now also have just a year remaining on his £8,000-per-week contract when he returns to Everton, so the Blues would have to look to move the academy graduate on if he cannot establish himself at another second-tier outfit, let alone one in the Premier League.
Much was expected of the youngster when he was given a surprise debut in the Carabao Cup away to Chelsea in 2017, with the talented prospect replacing Morgan Schneiderlin due to a late illness and delivering a crunching challenge on Ethan Ampadu to leave his mark.
But years have passed since that cold Autumn night in south west London and Baningime is still waiting to establish himself at Everton. Failing to even get a game at Derby will likely spell the end of his Everton chances
AND in other news, Everton are tracking a prolific 15-goal winger backed to reach another level…