Happy times for Banega

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Banega: Reputation restored

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Ever Banega admits he could not have hoped for a better start to the 2009/10 campaign.

The 21-year-old midfielder has enjoyed a remarkable first half of the season, becoming an integral part of the first-team set-up at Valencia.

Having initially struggled to make an impact in Spain, and being strongly linked with a quick-fire exit from Mestalla, the Argentine youngster has quickly restored his reputation as a potential superstar of the future.

He has helped Valencia into third spot in the Primera Liga standings and kept them in contention for a place in the knockout stages of the Europa League.

Banega has expressed his happiness at how the season has panned out so far, but is determined to ensure that he does not allow his standards to slip during the remainder of the campaign.

"Everything has happened so fast," he said.

Fresh start

"I said before the season started that I was hoping to make a fresh start and I am very happy with how things have gone.

"We are doing really well, we are third in the league, and I hope that we will enter the Christmas break as happy as we are now.

"Each one of us is committed to helping Valencia maintain their standing towards the top of the table."

Banega has also spoken of his delight at forcing his way back into international reckoning.

"I am very happy that (Diego) Maradona is thinking of me," he said.

"That's something I must thank my team-mates for, as they have given me confidence to go out onto the pitch and do things well."