OFFICIAL: Everton confirm Liverpool legend Benitez as new manager
Everton have announced Liverpool icon Rafa Benitez as their new manager ahead of the 2021/22 campaign.
Benitez has been out of work since leaving Chinese side Dalian Professional in January, where he managed a win rate of just 31.6%.
However, the Spaniard's prior success at Newcastle, who he guided out of the Championship and secured against the odds in the Premier League, is what may have convinced the Everton hierarchy to take him on.
The Toffees began their search for a new boss on 1 June, when then-manager Carlo Ancelotti ditched the club in favour of a return to Real Madrid.
Ancelotti had been brought in to execute owner Farhad Moshiri's ambitions of breaking into the 'top six', but only managed 12th and 10th in his two seasons at Goodison Park.
A section of the Everton fan base had called for the Italian to depart as a result, but now the majority view his decision to walk away from the agreed long-term project as unforgivable.
That said, nothing can compare to the negativity already shown to Benitez because of his close ties to arch-rivals Liverpool.
Rafa Benitez since Leaving Liverpool
Benitez arrives at Goodison Park as a legend of Merseyside rivals Liverpool, to the dislike of many Evertonians.
The 61-year-old took the Reds to Champions League success in the 2004-05 season, as they overturned a 3-0 deficit at half-time to beat AC Milan on penalties.
Therefore, Liverpool is seemingly where Benitez's fondest memories lie and, in fact, his family have been stationed there ever since, a key part in his latest decision.
📸 | More banners outside Goodison Park from the fans displaying their view on the potential appointment of Rafa Benitez.— The Everton End (@TheEvertonEnd) June 28, 2021
These are the type of banners which are completely acceptable, nothing personal towards Rafa and more of a message towards to board. pic.twitter.com/diRXxLEGwJ
Yet, one would expect his rapport with the Kop to diminish should he progress Everton into a position to compete with Jurgen Klopp's men.
And while some of the Everton faithful will back their new boss, with results the priority, it seems highly unlikely that he can win over those vehemently opposed to his appointment, making this a 'no win' situation.