Everton have reportedly lined up Denmark manager Kasper Hjulmand to replace the under-pressure Rafa Benitez following a run of disappointing results.
According to Spanish outlet Fichajes, the Toffees have made the highly-rated 49-year-old their ‘main candidate’ to replace Benitez should results not improve over the coming weeks.
The report states that: “Kasper Hjulmand, the brilliant Danish coach of the national team from his native country, is the main candidate to take over the reins of the club if the Spaniard leaves.”
Benitez only arrived at Goodison Park over the summer, and things got off to a good start for the former Real Madrid, Liverpool and Inter tactician.
A run of just one defeat in Everton’s opening seven Premier League fixtures sparked optimism around the club, but a string of injuries to the likes of Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Abdoulaye Doucoure and Yerry Mina saw a dramatic drop-off in results.
The Blues are currently enduring a seven-game winless run after falling to another defeat at the hands of Brentford over the weekend, with Benitez’s charges now sitting just six points above the relegation zone.
However, there now appears to be a new frontrunner in the race to take over the Everton reins, and the club’s supporters will surely be ecstatic to learn that Hjulmand is in contention for the role.
The Scandinavian rose to prominence after guiding Danish minnows Nordsjaelland to the Superliga title in 2011/12, a feat which was compared to Leicester City’s remarkable Premier League success by former American defender Michael Parkhurst.
Hjulmand’s impressive exploits at club level landed him the national team job back in August 2020 and has once again worked miracles during his short tenure.
After star midfielder Christian Eriksen collapsed during their Euro 2020 curtain-raiser, Hjulmand guided the Red and Whites to the semi-finals of the competition, winning several plaudits along the way.
The Athletic sources quotes from local outlets in Denmark, hailing the head coach. A magazine called Euroman read: “The national coach has been honest, vulnerable and at the same time tough if needed.
“This is how a modern leader acts, and Kasper Hjulmand has shown the way for all other leaders in this country. Hjulmand is the leader of the year.”
Therefore, he is likely to be a popular choice to replace Benitez should he be unable to turn Everton’s season around, providing the fanbase with a renewed sense of hope and optimism.