Intriguing implications for Benitez as Everton pressure leads to key figure’s exit

Marcel Brands looking on from the stands

Everton have separated with director of football Marcel Brands by mutual consent in a move that will have intriguing implications for the future of Rafa Benitez.

Brands has been employed by Everton since 2018, but is one of a number of figures at Goodison Park to have come under scrutiny recently. Despite signing a three-year contract extension in April, the Dutchman has now departed the club.

The Mirror first revealed the news, confirming Brands has agreed a severance package with Everton owner Farhad Moshiri. He will receive his salary until the end of the season.

Moshiri has now handed some of Brands’ previous powers over to manager Benitez, who himself has been under increasing pressure.

Brands spent almost £300m on transfers during his time with the Toffees. Not all his recruits were successful. Now, Benitez will have the chance to shape the squad in January.

A loss to Liverpool in the Merseyside derby in midweek has heightened pressure on the ex-Reds boss, who was a divisive choice as Everton’s new manager in the summer.

But the Mirror insist Moshiri is still backing him as Everton emerge from the Brands era.

Benitez has supposedly been told he will have funds to spend in January. But after making it clear he wanted more control over where that money was going, the Spaniard will no longer have to answer to the departing Brands.

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As for the 59-year-old Brands, the Mirror claim PSV would like to take him back as managing director. He was previously their director of football for eight years before Everton took him on board.

His signings since have had mixed success and now it will be up to Benitez to bolster the ranks appropriately.

There has been no official announcement from Everton yet. However, the news has been confirmed by reputable sources such as the BBC.

Benitez calm under Everton pressure

Rafa Benitez Everton

As for Benitez, the coach can concentrate on preparing Everton for their upcoming matches.

Next on the agenda is a home game against Arsenal on Monday. Speaking at a press conference in view of that match, Benitez denied he was feeling any pressure himself.

“I said before, I try to concentrate on my job,” he said.

“Everybody knows that money has been spent, but at the moment we have to be sure we improve these players.

“I talk about injuries because I want people to realise we were doing well with the same group at the beginning.”

He also said: “Every win is a must-win game. Why am I still positive? Because we did it at the beginning.

“You can’t be a bad or good manager in one week. If the team was really good, signed two wingers, made crosses – we cannot be wrong in everything after six weeks.”

Brands, though, has had longer to prove himself and things have not gone to plan in that regard. Therefore, while Benitez remains safe for now, Brands will be seeking his next challenge.

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