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Everton should turn to Graham Potter with Rafa Benitez under fire

In an interview this week, Rafa Benitez was asking a poignant question. Would Everton supporters afford him less time because of his connections to the red corner of Merseyside?

After labelling the Toffees a ‘small club’ during his stint in charge of Liverpool the emphatic should have been an emphatic, ‘yes.’

Instead, the Spaniard disagreed with the statement, suggesting that they’d actually afford him more time at Goodison Park because they appreciate what he’s already done in the city.

However, after a catastrophic 4-1 defeat to their local rivals on Wednesday, it marked the nadir of Benitez’s short tenure at Everton so far.

The pressure is ramping up on his job and according to some outlets, he will be facing the axe in the not too distant future. However, owner Farhad Moshiri has rejected any speculation, claiming that he will be given time to sort out this mess.

As some may remember, though, that isn’t necessarily a bad sign. As Sky Sports reporter Alan Myers reminded us on Thursday afternoon, Moshiri said similar things about Ronald Koeman before sacking him just 21 days later.

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If the same eventuality befalls Benitez then there will surely be no shortage of candidates for the role. Frank Lampard and Kasper Hjulmand have already been touted as potential replacements, while Nuno Santo, a man linked with the job in the summer, is also thought to be on their radar still.

The man who should be front and centre of the boardroom’s thoughts if they do get rid of the current head coach, however, is Graham Potter.

The 46-year-old was naturally touted with the Goodison outfit a few months ago after Carlo Ancelotti exited and should he still be on Everton’s radar, he’d be the perfect replacement.

After all, there is a reason he and his style of play have been described as “exceptional” by Jurgen Klopp.

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He took Ostersunds in Sweden from a club languishing in the lower tiers, built them up and subsequently steered them to European football, eventuality beating Arsenal on a famous night at the Emirates in the Europa League.

Since then, he has gained experience in England with Swansea and Brighton, earning a reputation for possession-based football.

The Athletic understands that some figures at Everton are currently growing tired of the “ugly football” on display from their team but Potter would undoubtedly be able to correct that mantra.

His Brighton side have seen 56.7% of the ball on average this term, the fifth-highest tally in the whole division. The trouble is, they don’t have a genuine goal-scorer in the team. The Seagulls have only found the net on 13 occasions in 14 matches this season.

They have no issue creating chances and thus, if Potter arrives at Goodison in the coming weeks or months, he could finally have the answer to his woes in 2021/22.

Everton have plenty of players capable of fashioning chances, namely in Andros Townsend and Demarai Gray. Fortunately, they also have a player capable of scoring goals on a regular basis; Dominic Calvert-Lewin.

He has been out injured since the fourth match of the campaign but would surely relish playing under a possession-orientated coach in Potter.

If Benitez goes then the Brighton manager simply has to be the man they turn to. He has revolutionised the south coast side as they sat 7th in the Premier League prior to Thursday’s fixtures, a position that Everton should be aiming for themselves.

AND in other news, Forget Coleman: Everton lightweight who lost 91% duels may have just cost Rafa his job…

Article title: Everton should turn to Graham Potter with Rafa Benitez under fire

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