Derby County manager Wayne Rooney has suggested that it has been difficult to provide first-team minutes for Everton loanee Beni Baningime but that he has been performing well in training.
Baningime was brought into the side in the January transfer window as part of a group of loan additions made to strengthen the squad for the second half of the campaign. The midfielder has been able to make just two appearances in the Championship so far with him having come off the bench in the defeat at Rotherham United and started the 4-0 defeat at Cardiff City (Sofascore).
The Everton loanee has been unable to even make an appearance from the bench in the last few weeks since that start against Cardiff, with the Rams having a lot of options to choose from in the middle of the park with the likes of Max Bird and Graeme Shinnie being well ahead of him in the pecking order. The 22-year-old will be hoping to get more minutes when the campaign resumes.
Speaking to Derbyshire Live, Rooney suggested that the midfielder has been performing well enough in training and that he has been wanting to hand him more chances to impress. However, he insisted that the Rams’ current options in midfield have made it difficult for him to get into the side.
He said: “He has been training really well.
“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.
“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.”
Baningime has worked with Rooney during the Derby manager’s brief spell with Everton, so he will have been aware of the qualities that he possesses and therefore assumed that he was able to provide some extra quality to the Rams’ squad that they might not have had before the January transfer window.
The injury to Krystian Bielik might have provided more chances for the midfielder to feature, but it seems that Rooney has found other options more preferable to the 22-year-old. However, you have to praise the midfielder for keeping to plug away and show the right attitude in training which is what Rooney has suggested here.
It is always difficult when you have players on loan from Premier League clubs that are not able to get into the side, but Rooney seems to be managing the situation well enough. There could be further chances for the midfielder to come into the side after the international break given the Rams are on a poor run of form at the moment.