Everton have handed Baningime a contract extension. Is he their answer to Liverpool’s Gerrard?
Everton midfielder Beni Baningime has signed a four-year contract extension, and the 19-year-old will surely aspire to break into the first-team sooner rather than later.
The Congo-born Englishman made his senior team debut last October, and has appeared 11 other times since across all competitions.
Baningime earned promotion to the Everton first team after playing a key role in the under-23’s Premier League 2 title-winning campaign last season, and his energetic and tenacious performances in the centre of the park will definitely have reminded many of a young Steven Gerrard.
Could he go on to become Everton’s answer to the Liverpool legend?
Baningime has mostly featured in deep midfield, but he is also capable of playing as a centre midfielder and at right-back. The goals are still missing from his game, but he’s still a work in progress, and the future is bright for the teenage sensation.
With European football unavailable at Goodison Park next term, Baningime’s playing chances will be few and far between, and a loan move to the Championship could be necessary to help fast-track his development.
Everton’s Reserves and Academy Player of the Year award for the 2016/17 season is a leader on the pitch, and he helped captain the under-18s to the Dallas Cup victory in the 2015-16 season.
Baningime’s energy and passion separates him from his peers, and should he keep getting better at this rate, he could end up establishing himself as a starter in the team very soon.
Since Wayne Rooney, and maybe Ross Barkley, Everton are yet to produce a top player from within their academy, but Baningime could soon be making a name for himself, and even go on to become their own midfield general Gerrard.