Speaking to The Derby Telegraph, manager Wayne Rooney explained why Everton loanee Beni Baningime isn’t getting his chance in the Derby County first-team.
Baningime signed for Derby County in January, but has only made two appearances for Rooney’s side since. One of which was three minutes on his debut against Rotherham United in a 3-0 defeat, whereas the other he played the full 90 minutes against Cardiff City in a 4-0 loss.
The Democratic Republic of Congo born midfielder has played eight times in the Premier League for Everton and three times in the Europa League since coming through the academy. He has actually shared the pitch with his current Derby manager on four occasions during their time at Goodison Park together.
It is clear Rooney saw something in Baningime and believed he would be a good addition to his Rams side. However, it hasn’t necessarily gone to plan.
He has found himself surplus to requirements on the majority of matchdays since joining Derby. He has started just once, been an unused substitute six times and not being included in the squad at all on four occasions.
When asked the reason as to why Rooney hasn’t included or used Baningime as often as many would have expected, the Derby boss said it mostly down to momentum and competition for places.
“You bring a player in and you want to try and give them time to impress, but at the minute the way we have been going it has been hard for me to give him minutes,” he said.
“I think the middle of the pitch is a very important position for the team and it is just about picking the right time for him to come in and take the chance when he does.”
Jason Knight, Graeme Shinnie and Max Bird have been the preferred trio in rotation for Rooney, with Baningime missing out as a result.
Another reason for his omission could be that only five loan players can be used in the matchday squad. Along with summer loan arrival Matt Clark, Derby’s four February 1st deadline day signings of Lee Gregory, Teden Mengi, George Edmundson and Patrick Roberts have been preferred in the Everton loanees’ place.