Can Rafa Benitez bring the best out of Everton?

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2021-22 Premier League season

13 August 2021 – 22 May 2022

With the 2021-22 Premier League season set to start in just over a month’s time, Everton fans will be hoping new manager Rafa Benitez can get the best out of their talented squad.

The former Real Madrid, Internazionale and Newcastle United boss was confirmed as the replacement for Carlo Ancelotti last week – a controversial appointment given his strong ties to Everton’s arch rivals Liverpool, whom he managed from 2004 to 2010. In fact, the Spaniard is the first man to manage both the Reds and the Toffees since Edward Barclay in the 1890s.

Everton striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin
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“I am delighted to be joining Everton,” said 61-year-old Benitez, who signed a three-year deal at Goodison Park. “Throughout this process, I have been greatly impressed by the ambition shown by the senior representatives at the club and their desire to bring success to this historic club. I believe this is a club that is going places. I’m determined to play a big part in helping this great club achieve its ambitions.”

Former Liverpool star Dietmar Hamann, who played under Benitez for the Reds, believes the Everton faithful will fall in love with the Spaniard despite his past history with Liverpool.

“He’s a top-class manager. I think he’s a genius,” said the former German international. “He wants to manage back in the Premier League and if there is no other club where he can go to, I wouldn’t hold it against him.

Jordan Pickford
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“When you look at his track record, what he did at Newcastle, what he did at Chelsea when he had a lot of fans against him when he first took over, he’s just a brilliant manager. I think the Everton fans in about six months’ time they will speak differently and maybe regret some of things they have said about him.”

One of the key elements for Benitez will be whether he can get the best out of a highly talented Everton team, which features star men such as Jordan Pickford, Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Richarlison, Lucas Digne, Yerry Mina and James Rodriguez.

Under Ancelotti last season, Everton started brilliantly and looked like top-four hopefuls, but inconsistency cost them dear. Benitez is renowned for getting the best out of his players and it would be no surprise to see the Toffees become a much more competitive and resilient outfit in 2021-22.

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Published: 07/16/2021