LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Monday, April 23, 2018: Newcastle United's manager Rafael Benitez before the FA Premier League match between Everton and Newcastle United at Goodison Park. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Rafa Benitez confirmed as Everton boss – to (very) mixed reactions of fans

Eleven years on from sitting in the top seat at Anfield, Rafa Benitez will now take the helm less than a mile away at Goodison Park after agreeing to a three-year contract.

In doing so, the Spaniard becomes the first former Liverpool manager to go on to take the top job at Everton and only the second to manage both clubs after William Edward Barclay in the 1890s.

It was made official on Wednesday, with Benitez now faced with the uphill task of turning Everton‘s fortunes around as he is now their fifth permanent manager in five years.

It’s a move that has led to mixed reactions on both the red and blue sides of Merseyside since links first emerged.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Boxing Day, Wednesday, December 26, 2018: Newcastle United's manager Rafael Benitez during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Newcastle United FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

It was taken too far earlier in the week with a disgraceful banner placed outside of his family home in Liverpool, but it would have the opposite of its intended effect as it instead galvanised support behind his appointment.

His credentials alone speak volumes and since leaving Liverpool he has overseen Inter Milan, Chelsea, Napoli, Real Madrid, Newcastle and most recently he had a spell in the Chinese Super League with Dalian Professional.

Nevertheless, reaction to the news remained split:

“Every single club I was there, I was fighting for them. If you analyse things in the context, what you are expecting from your manager is to fight for your club, and I will do that,” Benitez said on his Everton arrival.

Liverpool’s first scheduled meeting with Benitez’s Everton comes on November 30 at Goodison Park, with the reverse fixture at Anfield not until April 23.