Everton have begun their search for a new manager after deciding to sack Ronald Koeman on Monday following a disastrous start to the campaign.
A 5-2 defeat against Arsenal at Goodison Park on Sunday proved to be the final straw for chairman Bill Kenwright and majority shareholder Farhad Moshiri, with the result leaving the Merseyside outfit in 18th position in the Premier League standings.
Having also taken just one point from nine available in the Europa League group stages and with little sign of improvement in terms of player performances or tactics, enough was enough and the Dutchman was relieved of his duties.
Under-23s manager David Unsworth has taken temporary charge of the first team and according to The Times he will be given four matches – the first being the EFL Cup clash against Chelsea – to give the Toffees board more time to look for Koeman’s successor, and to get the opportunity to stake his claim for the role on a permanent basis.
While the 44-year-old will look prove that he should get the job over the next few weeks, Everton will be scouring Europe for potential new managers and their search should include individuals currently working in the Championship.
Considering they are currently top of the table, the Merseyside club may well be taking a closer look at Wolverhampton Wanderers boss Nuno Espirito Santo, and there are a number of reasons why he would be a good fit at Goodison Park.
The former FC Porto boss only took the reins at Molineux during the summer but despite bringing in a number of new players – mainly thanks to the relationship the club has built with his agent Jorge Mendes – and having no previous experience of managing in England, his side have hit the ground running and look set to feature prominently in the promotion race.
The 43-year-old certainly arrived at Wolves with good pedigree with win percentages of more than 50% at big clubs Valencia and Porto previously, although he was sacked from the Portuguese giants after failing to win a trophy in the 2016/17 campaign.
Nevertheless, he has already made a huge impact with the Championship club despite the fact that he needed to gel a number of new players into the old squad, and the west Midlands outfit have won nine of their 13 league games and are the joint-top goalscorers in the division with 24 goals.
Nuno Santo is already getting the best out of summer additions Ruben Neves, Ruben Vinagre, Diogo Jota and Leo Bonatini – with the latter duo having 14 Championship goals between them – who despite being impressive signings on paper may have taken time to get used to the English game, while long-term squad members like Matty Doherty and Danny Batth are also impressing.
While Koeman struggled to find a system that incorporated his new signings following a big summer of spending – and with attacking football at a premium – the opposite has happened at Wolves where the Molineux faithful are being entertained on a weekly basis.
The fact that the 43-year-old has managed that will certainly have caught the eye of Everton, as will the potential of boosting their chances of getting some of Mendes’ players should they appoint one of his oldest clients.
Mendes’ company look after the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Diego Costa and Angel di Maria, and there are a number of other players on their books that the Merseyside outfit would potentially be interested in bringing to Goodison Park to boost their squad.
Nuno Santo has already shown that he is impressive from a tactical point of view as well after beating Premier League side Southampton 2-0 at St Mary’s in the EFL Cup, as well as stopping a Manchester City side that included Sergio Aguero, Gabriel Jesus and Raheem Sterling scoring for 120 minutes before his side lost on penalties on Tuesday in the same competition.
It is obvious through performances this term that the 43-year-old is also popular among his players, which is something that certainly didn’t seem to be the case towards the end of Koeman’s tenure at Goodison Park, and the Portuguese manager would be confident of bringing the feel-good factor back to a quiet dressing room.
While he certainly has a ‘project’ at Molineux, you can’t help but feel that the opportunity to join a Premier League club with a potentially big budget for transfers would be appealing for Nuno Santo, who looks to be a progressive young coach destined to reach the top.