It’s hard to say that football was rocked by the departure of Rafa Benitez from Everton. The writing has been on the wall for the Spaniard for quite some time now and yesterday’s defeat to Premier League strugglers Norwich proved to be the breaking point.
With his departure comes a slew of potential candidates to step into the helm at Goodison Park. With Duncan Ferguson likely to take the reins in the short-term, we run down the current favourites for a permanent spot in the Toffee’s hot seat, courtesy of Betfred.
Nuno Espirito Santo, unattached
Betfred Odds: 12/1
Didn’t exactly cover himself in glory during his short-lived spell at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. The Portuguese manager was relieved of his duties after just 52 days in charge at Spurs in November, but his excellent tenure at Wolves puts him in good stead and he remains a decent candidate.
Graham Potter, Brighton & Hove Albion
Betfred Odds: 7/1
The Englishman’s work on the south coast continues to attract plenty of attention and his name on the list of potential Everton managers comes as no surprise. Potter has got a good thing going with Brighton at the moment, currently in the top-half of the table - can he be persuaded to make the move to Merseyside?
Frank Lampard, unattached
Betfred Odds: 7/1
Frank Lampard’s name has been in the frame for a number of jobs since he left Chelsea almost exactly 12 months ago - even Everton, before Benitez’s appointment. The former England midfielder did credible jobs at both Derby County and Chelsea, while his attack-minded football and focus on youth make him an exciting proposition for the Goodison Park faithful.
Roberto Martinez, Belgium national team
Betfred Odds: 5/4
The Belgium boss was also in the running for a return to Goodison Park in the summer before Benitez got the job. Martinez has made no secret of his desire to return to the English top-flight but with a World Cup around the corner, will he drop his duties with the Red Devils? He left his role as Everton manager in 2016 under acrimonious circumstances too, and, like Benitez, was the subject of fan protests. This could prove a divisive hire if it happened.
Wayne Rooney, Derby County
Betfred Odds: 3/1
The Everton and Premier League icon is doing a simply sensational job at the helm of Derby County. The Rams were handed a 21 point deficit this season, but the former Toffee’s captain and England’s all-time top-scorer, against all odds, has his side just eight points from safety and has given the Pride Park faithful a slight glimmer of hope in a truly bleak campaign.
He would prove a romantic option for owner Farhad Moshiri and the board, but would ‘Wazza’ leave Derby midway what could be the greatest of escapes?
Duncan Ferguson, who is likely to take over temporarily, is 7/2 at the time of writing to become the next permanent Everton manager. Swiss veteran Lucien Favre, last seen in charge of Borussia Dortmund between 2018 and 2020, is 20/1, as is former Monaco boss Niko Kovac. Scott Parker, Ernesto Valverde and Gennaro Gattuso are all 25s, while Jose Mourinho and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer can be backed at 33/1.