Rafael Benitez wants ‘the right one’ if Everton hire new director of football

It has been something of a chaotic week at the club which started with Marcel Brands’ departure from the role

Everton manager Rafael Benitez insists he can work with a director of football (Peter Byrne/PA)
Everton manager Rafael Benitez insists he can work with a director of football (Peter Byrne/PA)

Everton manager Rafael Benitez is happy to work with a director of football but stressed that the club must appoint the right man.

It has been something of a chaotic week at the club which started with Marcel Brands’ departure from the role being announced just before midnight on Sunday and ended with reports that head of recruitment and development Gretar Steinsson and scouting manager Dan Purdy had both left their roles.

In between times, Benitez had to deal with the fall-out of dropping Lucas Digne from the squad for Monday’s win over Arsenal after a difference of opinions over the left-back’s role.

But despite the upheaval behind the scenes the Spaniard, who secured his first win in nine games on Monday, continues undeterred and will happily give his feedback on how things are restructured going forward.

“I have been in football so many years. Normally in Spain and Italy you have a director of football, so I don’t have any issue with a director of football,” said Benitez, who is well known for wanting control at all levels when he moves into a club.

“It’s just to make sure we choose the right one for Everton, and then hopefully we can be successful with that.

“My main job is to concentrate on the games, that is very clear but at the same time, the club is trying to manage the new structure.

“Obviously you keep an eye on that, but my priority is just the games.

“We have conversations all the time, it’s one thing we’re doing regularly. We’re talking about ideas and after the owner and the board will decide which way they want to go.

“At the moment for me it’s giving my feedback if I have to do it, and concentrating on the games.”

Brands’ departure means, for the interim at least, Benitez will be in charge of transfers for the January window.

Seeing Andros Townsend and Demarai Gray – signed for a combined £1.7million in the summer – be two of Everton’s better performers in a disappointing season so far has added more weight to his argument.

But the club is still hamstrung by Financial Fair Play constraints and so he will have to get creative again.

“We know more or less what we want, the point is getting what you want,” he added ahead of Sunday’s trip to Crystal Palace.

“The transfer window is always difficult, but January is even more. We’re trying to concentrate on the games that we have now ahead, while at the same time keeping an eye on the transfer window.”

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