By George Overhill

23rd Jan, 2023 | 6:17pm

Marcelo Bielsa is the top choice at Everton to replace Frank Lampard after the 44-year-old was sacked on Monday, the Daily Mail reports.

After a weekend of talks in the wake of the 2-0 defeat at West Ham on Saturday (21 January) the manager was relieved of his duties on Monday afternoon.

Attention has immediately turned to potential successors and it appears that former Leeds United boss Bielsa is the preferred option among the Toffees hierarchy.

The Argentine has been out of work since losing his job at Elland Road last season despite a number of offers, but now the Everton board are “seriously considering” him to take over at Goodison Park.

The Daily Mail’s report says: “His high-tempo football style is seen as the way forward in a relegation battle that has turned toxic for the club.

“Bielsa will demand support in the transfer market and new recruits as Everton fight for survival.

“A transfer strategy is being considered and Bielsa will need to be convinced before agreeing to take over and return to the Premier League.”

Bold move

If Everton are serious about landing Bielsa then they are going to need to be prepared to change in a big way both on and off the pitch to make it work.

Given his history it was a surprise that he ended up remaining at Leeds for as long as he did, although it successfully resulted in a complete revolution of the club’s fortunes and a return to the Premier League.

Whether the Toffees have the time remaining this season to undergo such a huge change and stay in the top flight is open to question, especially when Bielsa himself struggled to arrest the slide that saw him lose his job just under a year ago.

His notoriously tough training regime and regimented playing style would be a shock to the system of the current squad, and if they don’t take to it then the season could be lost.

And if he is going to demand support in the transfer market then Lampard might justifiably asked where that was for him.

If the 67-year-old, whose influence is well documented on the likes of Pep Guardiola [Sky Sports, 3 October 2020] and Mauricio Pochettino [High Performance Podcast, 19 June 2020], is the man to take over then it is a high-risk but potentially high-reward appointment.

But there have to be huge questions about whether he would take on the role in the first place, and having walked away from a number of jobs in extremely short time whether he would accept the conditions that the hierarchy have created at Everton and which have seen so many managers depart under Farhad Moshiri.