Roberto Martinez had barely cleared his desk at Finch Farm when Ronald Koeman was installed as one of the favourites to replace him.
The Southampton boss certainly has the required level of experience and pedigree, but is he a genuine candidate for the Goodison hotseat? And what would he bring to the job?
Koeman is vastly experienced both as a player and a manager, with an extensive CV littered with honours. He is widely regarded as one of the Netherlands’ greatest ever players, winning Dutch Footballer of the Year in 1988 and 1989. Koeman was part of the Oranje team that won the 1988 European Championship as well as being part of their squad for the 1990 and 1994 World Cups and Euro 1992.
At club level he won four Eredivisie titles, three Dutch Cups and the European Cup while playing in the Netherlands at Ajax and PSV. Koeman would then win four La Liga titles with Barcelona as well as scoring the winner in the 1992 European Cup final.
As a manager he has won a further three Eredivisie titles and one Dutch Cup with Ajax and PSV as well as the Copa Del Rey with Valencia in 2008.
He joined Southampton from Feyenoord in the summer of 2014, guiding the Saints to seventh place in his opening season before a sixth place finish this campaign.
Koeman’s transfer record at Southampton is mightily impressive. His feet were barely under the table at St Mary’s when he was tasked with replacing £91m worth of talent, with the likes of Adam Lallana, Luke Shaw and Dejan Lovren all leaving the club.
However, the likes of Dusan Tadic, Sadio Mane and Ryan Bertrand have been unqualified successes. Throw in Fraser Forster and Virgil Van Dijk and it’s clear Koeman (and, it has to be said, Southampton’s extensive scouting system) knows how to pick a player.
Koeman is a calm and assured presence on the touchline. He isn’t one to rant or rave, at least in public anyway.
As a former defender he understandably favours defensive solidity with a flat back four and defensive midfielder. However, like most Dutch managers he is a disciple of Johan Cruyff and is keen for his side to dominate possession and play free-flowing attacking football.
Koeman is also known for bringing through young players, helping to develop the careers of the likes of Wesley Sneijder, Thomas Vermaelen and Nigel de Jong while in the Netherlands.
I imagine that is one of the reasons why Southampton, with their impressive academy system, wanted Koeman as manager. He has never been afraid to field youngsters at St Mary’s, with the likes of Matt Targett, Jake Hesketh, Harrison Reed and Lloyd Isgrove all given first-team experience.
Koeman has just one year left on his contract at Southampton and has indicated he would like to stay. However, he has kept his options open ahead of a meeting with the board this week. The Dutchman is keen for the club to match his ambitions and that would involve keeping their best players at the club. Another summer rebuilding job would not appeal and may open the door for Everton, who would offer him a substantial transfer budget to play with this summer. That said all the indications are that Koeman will be staying on the south coast for the foreseeable future.