Ever Banega has arguably been Sevilla’s most impressive player this season following his return from Inter last summer. A player who’s steadily improved since being sent off in his first league game since returning to the club. The Argentina international played a vital role in Sevilla’s victory over Manchester United in the last round of the competition, he and Steven N’Zonzi dominated Jose Mourinho’s midfield in both legs. It was that very game against Manchester United where he picked up the suspension that ruled him out of the first leg versus Bayern Munich.
I spoke on this weeks podcast about how I thought Banega’s suspension proved a huge loss on Tuesday night. They lacked his creativity and incisiveness. Banega is a versatile midfielder capable of both playing off of the front man and dropping deep to collect the ball from the centre backs.
Sevilla missed his ability to link up play with the front men but moreover, his absence meant players such as Vidal (before the injury) were forced to play without Banega’s pressing and defensive awareness. Unfortunately we are unlikely to see Sevila in the Champions League next season, which makes me wonder whether any clubs will turn the head of the 29 year old, particularly if he impresses at the world cup.