'I have full confidence' - Louis Saha names 'perfect match' for Everton manager position

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Wayne Rooney is ready for the challenge of becoming Everton manager.

That’s the verdict of his former Manchester United strike partner Louis Saha who like the 36-year-old Derby County boss also played for the Blues.

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Saha, who played 115 games for Everton, netting 35 goals, told Genting Casino : “I have full confidence that Wayne Rooney would be ready to return to his boyhood club. Look at the job that he is doing at Derby in unbelievably tough conditions.

“He would need to have the right team around him to help him step-up. With all due respect to Derby County, managing Everton is a big leap but a magnificent challenge.

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“We know that Wayne Rooney wants to win in whatever he does. As a manager, he will want to test himself at the highest level and will be ready for the challenge.

“I’m confident he would be successful because of his pedigree as a player and also as a person. He’s smart, dedicated and he knows the club inside and out – this is his boyhood club – he has the tattoo!

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“I honestly think he would be a perfect match for the club. He can create the right foundation for the club to improve.

“I’m not talking about Wayne like this because I played with him. It is because I believe he is ready to do it. He won’t come with an ego as a manager because he is still learning the role.

“He will come as Wayne. If Mikel Arteta has done it with Arsenal, then Wayne Rooney can do it with Everton.”

Saha also believes that it was Rafa Benitez’s record as Everton manager rather than his previous employment with Liverpool that got the Spaniard the sack.

Benitez was dismissed on Sunday, just a day after a 2-1 defeat to the Premier League’s bottom club Norwich City left him with just one win from his last 13 games in the competition.

Asked if Everton were right to sack the 61-year-old, Saha said: “Yes. It was the right decision because he wasn’t able to deliver results and performances.

“In many ways, it reminds me of Ole at United – mangers understand that football is a results business and if you can’t deliver them, you have to face the consequences. He shouldn’t be surprised this has happened.

“What I don’t understand is the decision making. As a manager, we know that Rafa is a strong character with a big personality.

“He has constructed the club in his image by removing the sporting director and changing the medical staff, but now he has gone.

“When you make these demands as a manger, you have to get results on the pitch.

“Invariably, some of the players and staff wouldn’t have been happy with these decisions. If you’re going to make all of these changes, you need to demonstrate progress. He couldn’t survive there.”

Saha is at a loss to fathom Everton’s strategy though that allowed Lucas Digne to be sold to Aston Villa after falling out with Benitez only for the manager to be sacked less than a week later.

He said: “I can’t understand the decision making. Lucas Digne is a formidable player. He’s been unbelievable for Everton.

“For years, he has been one of the best attacking sources at the club and creates so many goals for the strikers. I don’t understand how Everton can let a player of that quality leave if they want to be successful and win football matches.

“They haven’t been creating enough chances for the strikers – trying to replace the chances he creates will be very hard. This was a shocking decision that doesn’t make any sense, especially now Rafa Benitez has gone.

“The fans will be gutted with the current situation. The club appointed a manger that many of them didn’t want and now they’ve sold one of their top players.

“In some ways, I feel sorry for the board members because their relationship with the fans is currently difficult, they’ve fired a manager and they’ve lost a really good player. Hopefully the situation can improve soon.”

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