“If that is what Moshiri still wants, Benitez is an obvious candidate.”
Everton will not have expected to have been on the lookout for a new manager this summer but Carlo Ancelotti surprised many by announcing his departure from the Toffees on Tuesday in order to return to Real Madrid.
With Ancelotti already gone, Everton have begun the process of finding his replacement and the shortlist includes a surprising name or two.
I would like to thank Everton FC, my players and the supporters for giving me the opportunity to manage this fantastic and historical club. I decided to leave as I have a new challenge with a team that was always in my heart, Real Madrid. pic.twitter.com/SDV8T7qMDR
— Carlo Ancelotti (@MrAncelotti) June 1, 2021
Carragher, who played under Benitez at Liverpool for six years, believes the ex-Reds boss would be the perfect fit if Everton owner Farhad Moshiri wants to continue what he hoped to accomplish under Ancelotti.
“With Ancelotti, Everton pursued the tried-and-tested, proven experienced manager and stellar name,” Carragher wrote in his Telegraph column. “If that is what Moshiri still wants, Benitez is an obvious candidate.”
Jamie Carragher on Everton’s manager hunt
While Benitez may damage his legacy on the red half of Merseyside if he takes over at Everton, Carragher believes he has to be in the running.
Carragher wrote: “Of the names instantly linked with Everton as the Ancelotti news broke, who is more qualified than my former Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez?”
“Rafa is available, settled in the area and I am sure he is ready if Moshiri is prepared to consider one of the more shocking managerial appointments in Merseyside football history.
“At the very least, Benitez should be under consideration as Moshiri begins yet another managerial quest. And not for the first time, before the owner decides the right candidate, he has to be clear of the football direction he wants to take.”
Benitez was most recently in charge of Chinese Super League side, Dalian Professional, after leaving Newcastle United in 2019.
The 61-year-old had been out of work since January but recently made no secret of his desire to take a job in England.
“I moved to China because there were no top sides here, so I needed to keep competing and doing my job,” Benitez told Sky Sports last month.
“I’m watching every Premier League game and sometimes Championship games so that I’m always ready. The priority is England, the Premier League, my family is here… I like the style of football here. I’ll try to be ready here.”