Last updated on 9th October 2021 2:19 am (UK time)
Many stars have burst onto the scene in recent months within the 12 Scottish Premiership teams. Nathan Patterson has continued his positive development at Rangers, Calvin Ramsay at Aberdeen appears to be something special and Kyogo Furuhashi’s appearance at Celtic are just three of the exciting talents currently playing in the top flight of the SPFL.
Since the beginning of his Cinch Premiership campaign, which was started by a man from the game’s performance against Celtic, Baningime has been another name on that list and is among the best, but why exactly is the midfielder already adored by his team? local sympathizers and feared by opposition managers?
As Baningime has only been at the Tynecastle club for a few months, I think to get the full picture we have to see what happened before the move to Edinburgh. Baningime graduated from the academy at Everton and played for them 12 times during his four-year career at the club, debuting as a starter against Chelsea in the EFL Cup and appearing sporadically during the early parts of the 17/18 season.
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He had loan spells with Wigan and Derby, however he only played once for Wigan and twice for the latter. The midfielder’s time with Derby ended at the end of last season and consisted primarily of him watching from the bench with his only two games in 3-0 and 4-0 losses. Having played under Koeman’s disastrous era at Everton and in an equally dire Derby, it’s fair to say that Baningime was unlucky with the teams he started his career with.
Start to season
Having turned 23 in a career that was stagnant due to lack of playing time, Baningime finally took the opportunity to move away from the comfort zone that was Everton Football Club. The Congolese, Premier League 2 winner signed for Heart on July 29 and faced Celtic de Ange Postecoglou two days later.
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The baningime who entered this match had an abundant collection of excuses to perform poorly. This was a league that he had never played in, he had only signed two days ago and had barely met the team, the Hearts were the favorites and could have been easily swept, as well as the fact that Baningime barely had any professional playing time in his football career alone, it doesn’t matter last season. However, despite everything, Baningime had an outstanding performance.
Beni Baningime made numerous major challenges and was key in initiating crucial counterattacks in the Hearts’ late win in front of their elated home crowd, receiving the man of the match award to top it off. His career at Hearts was well and truly underway. Representative of his style of play, Baningime has not stopped and has become a relentless force in that midfield since his debut. In the eight games he has played, Baningime leads the chart with the most tackles at 3.3 at 3.3 and is ahead of players like Callum McGregor and Glen Kamara in interceptions at 90 (1.3).
Despite impressive ball-winning stats, he’s not just a defensive-minded player. As you can see from the heat map above, Baningime can also advance and while he has yet to score or assist (potentially an area for improvement), the midfielder has 84% passing accuracy in the opposition half.
I am aware that this article has been full of praise for Baningime, but for me it is justified. The Hearts midfielder has been playing like someone far above his teammate’s level, all while coming off a career that has been stuttering in endless discontent watching from the sidelines. The start of the season has been fantastic and now the goal will be consistency throughout the season.