Following Rafa Benitez’s sacking as Everton manager, several potential candidates have already emerged for the job, with former boss Roberto Martinez and Wayne Rooney (Next Everton manager – Martinez 5/4F, Rooney 3/1) chief among them.

Benitez and the Toffees parted company on Sunday following a dismal 2-1 defeat away at then-bottom club Norwich City.

It ended a turbulent seven-month stint in charge for the former Liverpool boss, with many fans happy to see the back of him.

His prior connections with Liverpool meant the relationship was always going to be strained and following nine losses in 12 games, the board will be looking for a new face for the dugout.

The early favourite is Martinez, who previously managed Everton from 2013 to 2016. In three years, he won 61 of his 143 games in charge and led the Merseysiders to fifth in his first season in charge.

He implemented some fine football as the Blues looked to reinvent themselves post-David Moyes – however things got stale by the end and he departed in the summer of 2016.

Martinez has since gone on to manage the Belgium national team and he took them to the World Cup semi-finals in 2018, while they are the FIFA ranked number one side in the world.

It would potentially be a risk to go back, but Martinez has made it clear it is a project he would be interested in.

Another early favourite is former Toffees forward Rooney, who is currently cutting his teeth in management with Championship side Derby County.

It is unusual to say the manager of a side 23rd in the Championship is doing a fine job but given the context of their season, Rooney has rightly earned acclaim for how he has handled the messy situation with the Rams.

Following a 21-point deduction for financial mismanagement and a host of star players leaving, Rooney has managed to steady the ship, utilising the club’s impressive academy stars.

Without the points deduction, they would be sat 11th which is some achievement given how thin their squad is.

Whether or not he is ready for Premier League management remains to be seen, but there is no question he is passing all the early tests.

Meanwhile, Duncan Ferguson (7/2) has already had a crack at managing albeit on a temporary basis and the Goodison legend may be afforded the role on a permanent basis.

Ex-Chelsea boss Frank Lampard (7/1) has been mentioned, as has Graham Potter (7/1), currently of Brighton, though the latter has cooled speculation surrounding him.

Whoever is appointed, this is a critical juncture in Everton’s immediate future.

Premier League Betting Odds