According to a recent report from The Daily Telegraph, Tottenham are eyeing up a January move for midfielder Andre Gomes, currently on loan at Everton.
The Portugal international, who helped his country win the European Championships back in 2016, made the move to Goodison Park temporarily at the start of the season after falling out of favour at parent club Barcelona, only for his fine efforts on Merseyside to reportedly attract the interest of Spurs chief Mauricio Pochettino.
And were Marco Silva’s Toffees to indeed lose the 25-year-old to Tottenham during the January transfer window, it would certainly represent bad news for Everton fans – although it might well be good news for Everton youngster Beni Baningime in his pursuit of first team football.
Ultimately, Gomes has made a central midfield spot his own since returning from injury back in October, starting each of the Toffees’ last eight Premier League matches, and in that time producing several impressive displays to help Silva’s men to seventh place in the division.
In fact, the 25-year-old has been a standout in a very encouraging start to the season from Everton to underline his capabilities, with his fine efforts keeping the likes of Baningime, Morgan Schneiderlin, and Tom Davies very much out of first team contention.
But with messrs Schneiderlin and Davies not exactly convincing of their capabilities in chances presented to them by Silva earlier this term, one wonders whether they would be Silva’s midfielders of choice were Gomes to leave for Spurs – and with James McCarthy only beginning to get back to full fitness, he may be a way away from regular football as well.
Yet given just how impressive Baningime has been in his 12 senior appearances for the Toffees in recent years, the 20-year-old could be the only beneficiary from Gomes’ possible departure to Spurs.
The DR Congo sensation has come up through the youth ranks at Goodison Park to make his way onto the peripheries of the first team last season, starting three times in their disastrous Europa League campaign as well as starts in the Premier League against Watford and the Carabao Cup against Chelsea.
And it was in that latter encounter in which the 20-year-old really proved his central midfield qualities with a combative performance in the middle of the park, with Baningime not afraid to get stuck in and break up play for the Toffees, possessing a comparable level of tenacity to Everton teammate Idrissa Gueye.
Yet injury during pre-season put pay to his early chances to impress new manager Silva upon arrival in the summer, and the 20-year-old hasn’t since been able to force his way into first team plans given the fine form of 25-year-old Gomes – without him though, the door is somewhat ajar for Baningime.
Ultimately, Everton fans will likely be very disappointed were their side to lose Gomes to Spurs in January, as a key cog in their team would be no more.
But it could open the door for 20-year-old Baningime to stake a claim for a regular first team spot – it would likely be good news for him.
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