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Has 20-year-old Everton talent Beni Baningime gone backwards this season?

Everton

Has 20-year-old Everton talent Beni Baningime gone backwards this season?

The Everton youngster has been out with an ankle injury since the summer.

Last season represented few positives for Everton. However, one which could be considered a success was the emergence of talented midfielder Beni Baningime.

The bullish midfielder came into the squad under the temporary guidance of his under-23 boss David Unsworth. However, he stuck around under Sam Allardyce and his future at Everton was looking decidedly bright.

The 20-year-old certainly had sections of support in the Everton fanbase. It is easy to see why. A tough tackling no nonsense youngster with an appetite for the game was always going to make fans happy.

He also won over Everton. He was rewarded with a new contract in the summer. He signed a new four-year deal keeping him at the club until 2022 in May.

SWANSEA, WALES – APRIL 14: Beni Baningime of Everton and Jordan Ayew of Swansea challenge for the ball during the Premier League match between Swansea City and Everton at the Liberty Stadium on April 14, 2018 in Swansea, Wales. (Photo by Tony McArdle/Everton FC via Getty Images)

But his trajectory has been severely dented this season.

Baningime has not had a chance to feature in the Everton first-team at all this season because of injury trouble. The youngster suffered a severe ankle sprain during the pre-season visit to Austria. He returned to training at the end of last month but is some way off first-team action.

With Everton not in Europe and also out of the League Cup, the midfielder has lost two major opportunities to get first-team football. With competition for places tougher now Andre Gomes has arrived from Barcelona and James Mccarthy recovering faster than expected from his broken leg, the 20-year-old looks set for a spell back in the under-23s.

That will not necessarily be a bad thing. However, it is certainly a step back from where he was this time last year.

Sports journalist based in Bristol. Everton fan for my sins.

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