When the 2020/21 season ended just over a week ago, few Everton fans would have expected to see Carlo Ancelotti leave the club this summer. But Zinedine Zidane‘s Real Madrid exit saw Los Blancos knock on the Italian’s door and he made an unexpected return to the Spanish capital.
Everton now need to find a replacement for Ancelotti. Their task won’t be an easy one given his standing within the game, but a number of names have emerged as early contenders for the vacancy at Goodison Park, including some surprise candidates.
The ex-Everton boss has done an excellent job in his second spell on the West Ham bench and, with returns being a theme of the summer so far, he could well be tempted by the romance of a return north.
Nuno Espirito Santo
Having impressed with Wolves before their form fell off somewhat in 2020/21, the Portuguese is now out of work and looking for a new job. He has been linked with the Spurs post, but Everton might be the next logical step and it would likely be a job where he could build something.
This one might be a surprise inclusion, but the Spaniard’s love for England and, in particular, Merseyside is no secret. A legend across the city at Liverpool, Benitez might think twice about joining the Reds’ rivals, but it does seem to be a good fit.
The exciting coach was tipped to take the Celtic job this summer, but talks have fallen through, leaving him on the market and free to talk to any interested party. He did well with Bournemouth over a long period of time, but Everton might have his Burnley shortcomings on their mind. That, though, was a long time ago now.
Lampard has been out of work for a few months since his sacking from Chelsea and the job at Goodison Park might be just the right size for him. Everton are undoubtedly a huge club, but with more modest ambitions than Chelsea. Having done reasonably well with Derby as well, it could work.
He is a legend at Goodison and knows the job well, having stood in as interim boss before Ancelotti arrived. He has been No.2 there as well and would be a popular appointment.
What a shock this would be. Gerrard is synonymous with Liverpool, but he doesn’t look likely to get the job at Anfield for a while yet. He has done incredibly well with Rangers and won the Scottish title in 2020/21, so the Premier League could be his next step.
This is the least likely of these options. He’s new in the coaching game and only just saw Derby avoid relegation on the final day of the Championship season. He has a lot of work to do before getting a job of this stature.