Rafa Benitez to Everton: Liverpool fans support ex-boss moving to rivals – Barnes

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Liverpool legend John Barnes has stated that fans of the club will continue to support Rafa Benitez, despite his impending appointment as Everton manager. The Spaniard is leading the search for Carlo Ancelotti’s successor after three rounds of talks.

After discussions with the previous frontrunner Nuno Espirito Santo broke down, Benitez is now in pole position to take the reins at Everton.

The Toffees have spent the summer looking for a new boss after Ancelotti’s sudden return to Real Madrid.

Benitez has many honours to his name, including the Champions League, Europa League, La Liga and FA Cup.

His pedigree makes him an exciting option to bring silverware to Goodison Park, but his links to Liverpool add to the intrigue of his arrival.

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Barnes has suggested that considering Liverpool sacked Benitez, fans won’t turn against him as if he’s deserted the club.

“Liverpool fans love Rafa and what he did for them. And Liverpool sacked him, so it’s not as if he’s deserting them to go to Everton,” Barnes explained.

“He lives in the area, and it would be a good move for him. He’d be a good manager for Everton.

“I don’t think Liverpool fans would necessarily turn against him because of that – they know the reality of football.

“Had he left Liverpool on a high, we didn’t want him to go and then he left for Everton, then maybe that would’ve been different.”


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Barnes believes Benitez will be a good fit at Goodison Park due to the ‘hard work, effort and humility’ the Spaniard’s previous teams have showcased.

He continued: “They’ll be supportive of it, and I think it’ll be a good move for him because he likes discipline, hard work, commitment and determination from his teams, and that’s what Everton give you.

“If you’re going to manage Arsenal or Tottenham where they want a certain style of football, Rafa may not be the right man.

“But I think Evertonians appreciate hard work, effort and humility, and that’s what his teams are, so it will be a good fit.

“You have to be realistic, Everton finished 10th, so they’ll be looking to improve. When you look at the players they have, they shouldn’t be in the top four.

“You’re looking between fifth and 10th. That’s where Everton will be looking to compete, and I’m sure Rafa will make a push for those positions.”

Benitez could be confirmed as Everton’s new manager as early as this week, so it’ll be interesting to see how Liverpool fans receive the official announcement.

It looks to be an intelligent appointment by the Toffees ahead of a 2021/22 season in which they must make progress.

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