Roberto Martinez favourite to replace Rafa Benitez as Everton boss in sensational return
Martinez could return to Goodison Park
Roberto Martinez has suddenly emerged as the favourite to take over the role as Everton manager after Rafael Benitez was sacked on Sunday.
The news finally broke on Sunday that Benitez had been relieved of his duties as Everton boss, with defeat against Norwich City the final nail in the coffin for his short-lived tenure.
To be honest, it's a surprise it even got this far. The relationship between Benitez and supporters of the Toffees was never a strong one given the Spanish coach's history with rivals Liverpool. Benitez is a bonafide Liverpool legend after helping the Reds win the European Cup in 2005.
Everton interested in re-appointing Roberto Martinez.
According to the Times and the Telegraph, Roberto Martinez has emerged as the favourite to replace Benitez and return to the club he managed before taking his current role as manager of the Belgium national team in 2016.
Discussions are said to have moved swiftly and the Toffees are now waiting to hear back from the Belgium Football Association on their stance regarding Martinez and if he will be allowed to return to Merseyside.
Martinez guided Everton to fifth place in the Premier League in 2014. The Toffees earned 72 points that year, their highest ever total in the Premier League era. However, his reign unravelled in his final season at Goodison Park.
🚨 | Roberto Martinez is high on Everton's shortlist to become their next manager.
🇧🇪 It will be difficult as it's understood Belgium do not want to let him go. pic.twitter.com/eyAhZPVkrA
— Football Daily (@footballdaily) January 17, 2022
Protests from sections of the fanbase ultimately ended his time at the club with Martinez sacked at the end of the 2015-16 campaign despite guiding the club to the semi-finals of both domestic cup competitions.
Whether the appointment of Martinez would be a long-term solution is another question with one report suggesting that he may return to the club on an interim basis before they assess their options in the summer.
As being mentioned in many places, Roberto Martinez is now firmly in with a chance of being brought into Everton - potentially on an interim basis.
— Dominic King (@DominicKing_DM) January 16, 2022
Other names have been touted with the job - most noticeably former Toffees star Wayne Rooney, admired especially for his work to keep Derby County within touching distance of survival in the Championship, despite a 21-point deduction.
Graham Potter, Sean Dyche and current Everton coach Duncan Ferguson, who has previously taken charge on a caretaker basis, are also other possible candidates for the vacant role.