The year of 2021 has been a topsy-turvy one for Everton and the club’s supporters.
Despite having Carlo Ancelotti at the wheel, the Toffees finished some way off the pace and outside of the European places. However, they now look in a much better position since the Italian made his way through the exit door.
Rafa Benitez has only been back in Merseyside for a matter of months but in the last few days, he’d been touted to leave.
That came after the Saudi-backed takeover of Newcastle Untied was finally concluded. The Magpies now have the richest owners in world football and the thought of mass financial backing looked appealing.
Yet, in a fresh claim provided by the Northern Echo, the Spaniard is set to stay at Everton.
They suggest that Benitez has categorically ruled out a move and will be remaining as the manager at Goodison Park.
This is phenomenal news and should be music to the ears of not only Farhad Moshiri and co but also the club’s supporters.
For so long Everton have been craving European football. They’ve not qualified for a continental competition since 2017/18 with their last appearance in the Champions League coming all the way back in 2005/06.
Ancelotti was brought in to try and break that trend but after finishing in tenth last term, their dream didn’t become a reality.
Yet, under Benitez, they have a real chance of getting back among the Premier League’s elite teams.
His initial appointment as Everton’s manager was a controversial one. He once dubbed them a small club and his association with the red corner of Merseyside hadn’t gone down well.
However, he has battered away the criticism and has been a real force while in charge of the Toffees.
For the first time in a long time, they look dominant and organised, providing hope that a European place come the end of the season is in their grasp.
Benitez’s team currently sit in fifth position and are two just two points off top spot. They’ve achieved that without Dominic Calvert-Lewin for over a month too.
The Spanish coach has been able to get the most from his players and has transformed the careers of both Demarai Gray and Andros Townsend. They have scored eight goals between them since signing this summer and look real stars at Goodison.
On that evidence and the fact he could guide them to an elusive top-six spot, fans will be over the moon to hear that he’s set to commit his future to Everton.