Rafa Benitez was fired as Liverpool manager more than a decade ago now after securing a fifth Champions League and pushing Manchester United close in the league despite limited resources compared to the club’s historic rivals.
No matter how long it’s been an open secret he would be the Blues’ new manager and no matter the time elapsed since his Liverpool departure and despite that realistically at this point there was no path back to him managing the Reds in the future, it was always going to be a bit strange when it became official.
“I am delighted to be joining Everton,” he said following his appointment. “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.”
Reports from journalists with ties to the club say that Benitez will be backed in the transfer market this summer as the Blues look to push on from last season’s mid-table finish and challenge for the European places in the Premier League.
Whatever moves the club does make, a quick start for Benitez will be essential to win over a fanbase that is at best conflicted over the appointment of the former Liverpool manager—seemingly more conflicted than most Liverpool fans, who will always have fond memories of the Spaniard given what he did for the club and city.
For our part, we wish Rafa all the best at his new club and hope he generally does well for Everton while losing twice to the Reds in the league and finishing behind Liverpool in the final table.