By Noel Whelan

19th Jun, 2021 | 1:00pm

Pundit thrilled as Everton make Benitez decision after talks with three managers

Noel Whelan has claimed Everton will make the right call if they snub Nuno Espirito Santo in favour of Rafael Benitez.

The former Leeds striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, insisted the Spaniard is a “fantastic” man-manager and a “brilliant” tactician.

As revealed on Thursday (June 16th), Everton are set to appoint Benitez as Carlo Ancelotti’s replacement after a breakthrough in talks on Wednesday night

The Toffees had been in advanced talks with Nuno Espirito Santo, while they also made contact with Antonio Conte.

However, Whelan suggested Everton need someone with Benitez’s track record of managing “big players”.

“I didn’t think it should have been Nuno they go back after,” Whelan told Football Insider’s Russell Edge.

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“I did think Rafa is a better fit. As a man manager, he’s fantastic. As a tactician. Brilliant. We’ve seen it. His track record is there.

“It’s about the task in front of you. It’s about the players that they’ve got. I would say that he’s one of the best candidates for the job. That’s the way you’ve got to look at it.

“You’ve got big players there. You need an experienced manager, a manager that’s going to get the best out of players. A manager that’s going to man-manage and keep the players smiling and happy.

“Let’s not take anything away, he’s a very, very good manager. Many clubs would love to have Rafa Benitez. You saw what he did at Newcastle with very limited resources under difficult circumstances.”

Benitez has been out of work since leaving Dalian Professional back in January.

Meanwhile, Nuno left Wolves at the end of the recently-concluded Premier League campaign.

In other news, super agent is working on luring two sensational signings to Everton.