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Former Chelsea boss Rafa Benitez would leave Newcastle United next month after failing to agree new contract terms with the club.
ESPN’s experts Craig Burley, Mark Ogden, Shaka Hislop and Gab Marcotti discussed the possibility of Benitez making a return to Stamford Bridge instead of Frank Lampard.
Craig Burley said: “I actually think Benitez is one of the elite managers and I think the job he did at Newcastle is great but his relationship if it matters with the Chelsea fans was extremely poisonous even though he had success there in a short time. From his Liverpool days, the Chelsea supporters have just never taken to him.”
Mark Ogden added: “Lampard is universally popular with Chelsea fans while Benitez will be the total opposite so I don’t think there is anyway back. But I think [Benitez] will be more qualified for the job because of his experience.”
Craig also added he would take Benitez (who has won the Champions League and Europa League) over a lot of managers including Frank Lampard but insisted Benitez isn’t the right fit for the Chelsea job.
Gab Marcotti believes Chelsea employed Maurizio Sarri last season because the Blues want to play a certain brand of football and he believes employing Lampard provides continuity for the job Sarri started last season.
According to Marcotti, even though Benitez is a phenomenal manager, he plays a different brand of football to what Chelsea want at Stamford Bridge.
Marcotti believes employing Benitez as Chelsea boss means the Blues will get a year of grumbling because Benitez won’t be able to make signings due to the transfer ban.
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