Napoli secured a 2-2 draw with VFL Wolfsburg in the Europa League’s 2nd leg of their Quarter-Final tie, to earn a place in the semi-finals of the competition. Napoli’s manager is Rafael Benitez, formerly in charge of Liverpool between 2004 & 2010, and he has been linked recently with a move back to the Premier League. His former side the Reds are on course for a trophyless campaign under manager Brendan Rodgers, with Liverpool’s most recent disappointment being the loss to to Aston Villa in the FA Cup semi-final.
Benitez, 55, could well win the Europa League for the second time in three seasons – the first being with Chelsea in 2012/13. The Spanish manager won the Coppa Italia with Napoli in his debut campaign, and is now dreaming of making the Europa League final with the Serie A outfit aiming to end his time on a high. In all likelihood, Benitez will likely depart the club in the summer for a fresh start in England or Spain.
Liverpool supporters are debating his potential return to Anfield, with current boss Brendan Rodgers looking likely to have missed out on a top-four finish in the Premier League. This season has been one of inconsistency on Merseyside, and despite an upturn in results in 2015, the Reds have not been able to make up for their poor showings in the first-half of the campaign.
The answer to their problems could well be former fans’ favourite Benitez, who has made it clear that he would like a return to the Premier League in the future, but which club he would join is another matter. His reputation is intact after an impressive interim spell with Chelsea, and his relative success in cup competitions at Napoli will make up for the stumble in the Serie A, thus, he is a coach who will surely be coveted in the summer.
Most likely Benitez would jump at the chance of a return to Liverpool over many other clubs showing an interest. It is noteworthy that he has at times given his opinion on the Merseysiders and their current campaign. He still pays attention to how they are doing, but it would be a huge decision to axe Rodgers, given that he has not performed too badly since taking over and considering the shaky state the Reds were in prior to his appointment.
Rafael Benitez, however, is a manager who could bring in big-name players with his standing in the game, and would bring a new positive mentality to the side, as Liverpool have looked jaded and bereft of luck in recent weeks. The club could well take advantage of this opportunity, as the Spaniard is not likely to be around for long this summer.
So could Rafael Benitez replace Brendan Rodgers at Liverpool ahead of next season?