Everton have been working hard with Beni Baningime to rebuild him after 12 months of disappointment. He failed to make a first-team appearance last season, endured a forgettable loan spell at Wigan from January, saw a loan move to Brondby collapse this summer and now finds himself in the u23s.
Baningime’s development has taken a hit over the last year as a result of his lack of playing time, but the Toffees are getting him back to his old levels. The 21-year-old has made 12 appearances for Everton, but his last outing came against Swansea City on April 14, 2018.
And with Fabian Delph, Jean-Philippe Gbamin, Andre Gomes, Tom Davies and Morgan Schneiderlin ahead of him in the pecking order, Baningime isn’t going to get a look-in under Marco Silva. Reserve-team manager David Unsworth believes football in the u23s and regular face-to-face talks are getting the midfielder back to his past self.
He told the Liverpool Echo: “I think he’s getting back to the levels he was at. I don’t think he’s at the level just yet, it’s a work in progress. He had a disappointing season last year which happens sometimes. We have to rebuild him and we’re certainly rebuilding him.
“The good thing about Beni is the foundations are solid and he’s a great kid. He just needs game-time. He didn’t have a lot of that last year for whatever reason but that’s gone now. We’ve had a really good chat, myself and him, and he knows he is very much loved by myself.
“He’s showing in his performances that he needs games, he’s a young player, he needs confidence and he’s certainly getting that from us. He’ll get that in abundance and he’s slowly getting back to the levels that he was before he left to go on loan last year.”
Baningime has made three Premier League 2 appearances this season and is thriving now he’s back playing regular football. The 21-year-old has benefitted from more minutes on the pitch and heeding advice from his manager. Time will tell if he can impress enough to get the attention of Silva, however.