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Liverpool icon backs Rafa Benitez to replace Carlo Ancelotti as new Everton manager

Jamie Carragher has backed his former Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez to replace Carlo Ancelotti as the new Everton manager.

Writing in his column for The Telegraph, Carragher described Benitez as the most qualified option for Blues owner Farhad Moshiri.

Everton are searching for their next head coach after Ancelotti left to re-join Real Madrid. The Italian led the Toffees to a 10th placed finish in his only full Premier League season in charge. They also ranked 15th for home form after just six wins from 19 games.

Ancelotti had signed a four-and-a-half-year contract in December 2019 to replace Marco Silva. He became the club’s fourth permanent head coach since Moshiri bought an initial 49.9% stake in the Blues in 2016.

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The three-time Champions League winner also oversaw more games (67) than Ronald Koeman (58), Sam Allardyce (26) and Silva (60). But leaves having failed to achieve his long-term aims of guiding the ‘beautiful club’ into Europe and challenging for trophies.

Carragher now backs former Liverpool boss Benitez to take up the vacant Merseyside hot seat. The Spaniard is out of work after leaving a £12million-a-year contract at Chinese Super League side Dalian Pro in January.

“Of the names instantly linked with Everton as the Ancelotti news broke, who is more qualified than my former Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez?” Carragher wrote. “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.”

TBR’s view: Benitez shouldn’t be the new Everton manager

While Benitez won the Champions League and FA Cup at Liverpool, he should not return to Merseyside to become the new Everton manager after Ancelotti’s sudden exit.

Benitez established a reputation at Newcastle for playing a defensive style of football focused on not conceding. That would not go down well at Everton. Director of Football Marcel Brands supported Silva’s appointment in 2018 as he wanted to be attractive on the pitch.

“One of the most important things is that he’s a guy who wants to play attractive, attacking football and also wants to work in the structure we have at Everton,” Brands said, via The Guardian. “He’s a guy who has proved already he wants to work with young players, make them better and he has performed very well with the teams he’s worked with.”

Ancelotti likewise promised just last month that he would deliver “more attractive and attacking football” next season. That will no longer come and would not be on the cards with 61-year-old Benitez at the helm either.

Instead, Brands and Moshiri must agree on an alternative head coach. One who can deliver attractive football as the new manager and guide Everton into Europe.

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