Everton are reportedly set to open talks with Nuno Santo over their vacant managerial role…
According to Sky Sports, the Merseyside outfit have made the 47-year-old their leading candidate to replace Carlo Ancelotti at Goodison Park.
It’s thought that the Portuguese boss, who departed Wolves after the final game of the 2020/21 season, is in pole position with him receiving strong support from the Toffees’ hierarchy.
Majority shareholder Farhad Moshiri is said to have been impressed by Wolves’ development under Nuno, and he sees him as a perfect fit to work with the current Everton squad.
The Everton supremo must not have witnessed this campaign as the Midlands outfit declined immensely under Nuno.
Having enjoyed promotion to the Premier League and qualification to the Europa League in just two years, Wolves slipped to 13th place, where they were amongst the lowest scorers in the division.
No team 16th or better scored fewer than their 36 goals, even relegated West Brom were only one strike from matching that tally. Of course, a lot can be attributed to the fact that they devastatingly lost leading talisman Raul Jimenez early on in the season.
However, Nuno introduced a new style of play during his final season that the Telegraph’s John Percy has insinuated was quite negative as they now see Bruno Lage as the man to take them forward with a fresh, attacking and entertaining system.
It’s certainly a gutting blow to lose Ancelotti, who has been their best manager since Howard Kendall – during his first spell – in terms of win percentage but a move for the former Wolves coach could see them go in the opposite direction.
The Italian brought an exciting brand of football to Goodison Park and that was backed up by his signings in the transfer market, bringing in the likes of James Rodriguez and Allan.
Nuno is more Sam Allardyce, notorious for his negativity on the pitch, than another Ancelotti or even a Roberto Martinez.
Big Sam won just ten of his 26 matches in charge of the Merseysiders and the fanbase never truly warmed to him.
For example, after one win over Newcastle, the 66-year-old told reporters: “What was wrong with our style tonight?” and that subsequently left many at Goodison Park reeling as the Toffees’ only shot on target fortuitously saw them clinch all three points.
As evident above, Wolves struggled to score under Nuno this season, with club-record £35m signing Fabio Silva scoring just four times in 32 appearances. That should worry Dominic Calvert-Lewin, and that should worry the Everton faithful, too.
Again, there are further comparisons to be had between Big Sam and Nuno, as the Englishman’s big-money signings – namely Theo Walcott and Cenk Tosun – flopped massively.
On the above evidence, director of football Marcel Brands risks playing with fire if the Portuguese is genuinely amongst his top candidates for the vacant role.
It could prove to be a disaster for the Toffees.