Everton midfielder Jean-Philippe Gbamin could be out for up to 12 weeks, BBC Sport reports. Gbamin was a £25m recruit in the summer transfer window as Everton tried to replace Idrissa Gueye.
But his Everton career has got off to a slow start as he is out with a serious injury. He joins Andre Gomes on the sidelines and Everton are just one or two injuries away from a midfield crisis so soon in the season.
While the double injury news is a major blow for Marco Silva, it does give some fringe players the opportunity to step up. The likes of Tom Davies, Dennis Adeniran and Fabian Delph will be hoping to nail down a first-team spot, while Morgan Schneiderlin is also available.
But what has happened to Beni Baningime? Once thought of as the next big thing, he seems to be a forgotten man at Goodison Park. This could be one his last chances to stake a claim for an Everton first-team role.
Time to put failed loan spell behind him
Everton fans had high hopes for Baningime when he burst onto the scene. He played 12 games, including eight in the Premier League, but has not featured at all under Marco Silva. Last season, Silva decided to send him out on loan.
In January, Baningime joined Wigan Athletic on a loan deal until the end of the campaign. But he managed just one game, playing the full 90 minutes against Rotherham United. He needs to put this behind him and work on getting into the Everton team now.
Senior football more important than U23 minutes
Baningime has come through the ranks at Everton and played many games for the academy teams. He has played 30 times in the Premier League 2 for Everton but youth team games will not benefit him as much as senior minutes.
To ensure he makes the next step in his career, Baningime needs to step out of his comfort zone and prove himself with first-team football. This injury crisis presents him with a possible opportunity.
Everton might need Baningime
Baningime will be working hard to get into the Everton side. But the Congolese midfielder might be needed by Everton. With many games coming up – including the midweek EFL Cup tie with Lincoln City – rotation is key.
Silva has already lost two key midfielders. If Delph or Schneiderlin joins them on the injury list, Everton’s ranks will be seriously depleted. This might be the break Baningime needs to emerge from the fringes of the squad.