Whether we like it or not, it’s happened.
Everton have appointed Rafa Benitez as the next manager of the Toffees on a three-year deal. Benitez, 61, takes over at Goodison Park 29 days after Carlo Ancelotti’s surprise departure for Real Madrid, having been Liverpool manager between 2004 and 2010.
Indeed, he becomes only the second man to manage both Liverpool and Everton after William Edward Barclay in the late 19th century.
Benitez’s first competitive game in charge of Everton will be against Southampton at Goodison, when their 2021-22 Premier League campaign gets underway on August 14.
Everton have confirmed Duncan Ferguson and Alan Kelly will remain on the club’s backroom staff with an update about further appointments to be announced in the coming days.
We’ve collected all the stories leading up to the announcement, the news itself as well as the reactions and comments following the appointment in one place in this stream.