Beni Baningime of Everton and Pedro of Chelsea battle for possession
Everton's caretaker manager David Unsworth has told the club's official website that he was impressed with Beni Baningime's debut performance against Chelsea on Wednesday night.
The Toffees have had a dramatic week, given that manager Ronald Koeman was sacked on Monday afternoon, less than 24 hours after losing 5-2 to Arsenal on Sunday afternoon.
Caretaker Unsworth took charge of Everton's Carabao Cup game against Chelsea on Wednesday night, in a game which ended in a 2-1 defeat for the Toffees.
Antonio Rudiger and Willian both struck for Chelsea, and whilst Dominic Calvert-Lewin pulled one back for Everton, Unsworth saw his side crash out of the competition.
Chelsea's English midfielder Danny Drinkwater (L) vies with Everton's Beni Baningime
Unsworth did spring a shock in his team selection though, having handed a surprise debut to midfielder Beni Baningime, with the 19-year-old coming into the side for his first start.
Baningime, who was born in DR Congo but joined Everton at the age of nine, has been coming up through the ranks at Goodison Park, impressing at various youth levels.
On Wednesday, Baningime joined Tom Davies and James McCarthy in the Everton midfield for his first Toffees appearance, and he certainly impressed caretaker boss Unsworth.
Unsworth has told the club's official website that Baningime wasn't in the Everton side until the day of the game, when Morgan Schneiderlin was taken ill, but he had no qualms throwing the teenager in for his first game.
Unsworth admitted that he was surprised with just how good Baningime was, and told Everton fans to get used to his all-action displays in the heart of midfield.
“If I am honest, Beni Baningime was not in the team last night,” added Unsworth. “But Morgan was taken ill and sometimes things are forced on you. That then opens the door to another player and gives them an opportunity. I had no hesitation in playing Beni. Over a period of 18 months or so, he has been outstanding. I know he has the ability, the physicality and certainly the temperament to come to the home of the Premier League champions and put on that sort of display.”
“But I didn’t think he would be as good as he was! I was very proud of his display. For those who don’t know him, that tackle he put in in the second half is a regular thing. He’ll do it in training as well. Evertonians better get used to that if he goes on to play a bit more!” he added.
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