He is one of the rising stars in La Liga – but who is Ever Banega? In my view he is the ideal replacement for the departed Xabi Alonso and just the man to bring that creative edge to Liverpool’s midfield.
Aged just 18, Banega came through the Boca Juniors ranks in early 2007, after the departure of Fernando Gago. After impressive displays it only took Valencia twenty-eight games of first team football to pay Boca Juniors some 18m euros for his services in January 2008.
Banega didn’t hit the ground running in Spain as perhaps the move was a little too soon and after failing to win over Ronald Koeman, Valencia’s new boss Unai Emery sent him out on loan to Atletico Madrid where he was an absolute revelation. It remains to be seen as to whether Valencia would be so keen to offload him as they were prepared to do last summer, however, if they do, then I personally couldn’t think of a better player for Rafa to look to as a replacement for Xabi Alonso.
With an eclectic range of passing, two footed, silky skilled and excellence at one touch football, he is very reminiscent of a certain Xabi Alonso. Banega, like a lot of Argentines, is strong as a bull, possesses a low centre of gravity and is extremely difficult to knock off the ball when in possession. His performances at Atletico saw Banega starting to fulfil the potential that first convinced Valencia to spend big to bring him to La Liga and although Emery may want to keep him at the Mestalla long term, their current financial plight is likely to see them having to cash in. My own view is that he’ll be a revelation at Anfield and would certainly provide a better foil for Mascherano in the middle, as opposed to Lucas and Alberto Aquilani; who for me is suited to Steven Gerrard role behind Torres anyway.
Would Ever Banega be a welcome addition to the Liverpool midfield?
Written by Scot Munroe