Rafa Benitez makes Everton transfer admission after winning war vs Marcel Brands

Rafa Benitez has admitted that he will have a greater influence on Everton’s business in the January transfer window following the departure of Marcel Brands.

Everton parted company with their director of football on Sunday by mutual consent after the club’s hierarchy decided to back Benitez.

The 59-year-old, who had previously held the same role at PSV Eindhoven, had been with the Toffees since taking over from Steve Walsh in May 2018.

He spent around £300million in transfer fees over his three-and-a-half years with the club with mixed success, leaving Farhad Moshiri with a decision to make.

Everton’s owner chose to stick by Benitez, with Brands’ departure prompting the club to launch “a strategic review of the football structure”.

Rafa Benitez makes Everton transfer admission after winning war vs Marcel Brands
© Tony McArdle/Everton FC via Getty Images Rafael Benitez manager of Everton speaks to the media after the Premier League match between Everton and Arsenal at Goodison Park on December 06, 2021 in Liverpool, England.

Benitez’s status as Everton manager received another timely shot in the arm on Monday night when the team ended their seven-game winless Premier League run with a 2-1 win over Arsenal.

The Spaniard had been under huge pressure following the 4-1 derby defeat by Liverpool, but was able to turn his attention to the January transfer window after victory at Goodison Park.

“It means we have to prepare now for the future. It is short-term and January,” he told Sky Sports when asked about Brands’ departure.

“Then we have to think long-term. The club has changed managers in the past and now they want to do something long-term with a clear idea of what we want to achieve.

“With my experience and the people we have in the club I think we can guide things in the direction that will hopefully be the right one.”

Brands only signed a new three-year contract with the club in April, but as The Mirror exclusively revealed, he will only be paid until the end of the season after coming to an agreement with Moshiri over the weekend.

HAVE YOUR SAY! Who should Everton sign in the January transfer window? Comment below.

Rafa Benitez makes Everton transfer admission after winning war vs Marcel Brands
© Tony McArdle/Everton FC via Getty Images James Rodriguez poses for a photograph with Director of Football Marcel Brands (L) after signing for Everton at USM Finch Farm on September 7 2020 in Halewood, England.

The Dutchman had been locked in a power struggle with Benitez behind-the-scenes at Everton due to the manager’s insistence on involvement in transfers.

Benitez has made it clear to Moshiri that he wants to live or die by his own transfer dealings and Brands’ departure appears to strengthen his hand.

“You can say it in this way,” he replied when asked by Sky Sports whether he will now have more control over transfers.

“People that are working now can give us all the information we need to make sure we make the right decisions.

“I was working for years with a director of football. It is not an issue. Now we have to think about the future and we have a situation where we must take responsibility.”

Monday night’s game appeared to be going in the wrong direction for Everton following the protest by a small group of supporters in the 27th minute and the opening goal by Martin Odegaard just before half-time.

Rafa Benitez makes Everton transfer admission after winning war vs Marcel Brands
© PAUL ELLIS/AFP via Getty Images Everton’s English striker Demarai Gray (C) celebrates with teammates after scoring their late second goal during the English Premier League football match between Everton and Arsenal at Goodison Park in Liverpool, north west England on December 6, 2021.

But after seeing two goals ruled out by VAR for offside, Richarlison drew them level with a looping header after Demarari Gray struck the woodwork.

Gray then sealed a vital three points for the Toffees with a thunderous strike from outside the area in stoppage time.

The win moved Everton up to 12th in the Premier League ahead of Sunday’s trip to play Crystal Palace.

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