Benitez was manager of Everton’s bitter rivals Liverpool from the 2004 until 2010 and in his time at Anfield guided the Reds to a Champions League trophy as well as an FA Cup.

 

In Benitez’s spell in charge of the Reds, Liverpool defeated Everton eight times in all competitions and went undefeated at Anfield in Merseyside derbies.

 

 

Steven admitted to understanding the apprehensions of the Everton fans about appointing a former Liverpool manager, but urged them to look beyond his past at Anfield and see him for the great footballing mind that he is.

 

The former Toffees winger added that the Spaniard is a great manager and a similar calibre to that of outgoing boss Carlo Ancelotti and therefore he would not be opposed to his arrival at Goodison Park.

 

 

“It’s a difficult one for Evertonians, but I feel he is a tremendous manager”, Steven told Sky Sports (12:52).

 

“He is in Merseyside and has been very much aligned to Liverpool in the past but he’s moved on and had other jobs in the Premier League so what’s to stop him going to Everton?

 

 

“It won’t be something they will rush into.

 

“There will be a couple of weeks of looking around to see who is available and Rafa is.

 

“There’s no doubt about his credibility.

 

“He’s another manager of great reputation like Ancelotti is, so that would fit the bill.

 

“I wouldn’t be against it as an Evertonian.”

 

Benitez previously faced the ire of the Chelsea fans when he was appointed Blues boss in 2012 and failed to win them over during his time as interim manager.