Liverpool FC: 5 Options to Replace Kenny Dalglish at Anfield
John W. Henry and Tom Werner will be looking for a manager that can deliver instant success. Dalglish wasn't given much time, and the next man won't either.
Speculation over who will be the next in charge will be rife with options for possible replacements.
Here are the top five.
5. Rafa Benitez
A manager who has been unemployed for more than a year, ex-Liverpool gaffer Rafa Benitez must surely be under the consideration of the Liverpool owners.
Hired in the summer of 2004, Rafa Benitez would go on to become one of the club's most successful managers ever. Though he failed to deliver a hallowed Premier League title, Benitez led his side to a Champions League win, an FA Cup triumph and four straight top-four finishes. He was relieved of his duties in June 2010.
The 52-year-old Spaniard, who was sacked by Inter Milan in December 2010, would surely welcome a move back to Anfield. With funds now available to him that weren't last time he was in charge, Benitez could finally bring Liverpool that long-awaited Premier League title.
4. Brendan Rodgers
Anytime a manager can take a team from being a mid-table club to a promotion-bound one, he must be doing something right. That is what Brendan Rodgers has accomplished at Swansea City.
A 39-year-old from Northern Ireland, Rodgers is known mostly for his ability to instill a never-say-never mentality in his players, something that was evident in Swansea's 1-0 victory over Liverpool at the Liberty Stadium on Survival Sunday.
Rodgers could be a highly-sought after man this summer, with a number of clubs seeking new bosses. If Liverpool think he is the one, then they'll need to swoop soon.
3. Andre Villas-Boas
Perhaps the most highly-rated manager in the world, Andre Villas-Boas is currently unemployed, and will undoubtedly be looking for a new job.
Villas-Boas was snapped up by Chelsea last summer after a hugely successful 2010-11 season at Porto that saw him win the Portuguese Primeira Liga, Portuguese Supercup, Championship of Portugal and Europa League in his first year in European competition.
However, he was laid off in March after just 40 games in charge at Chelsea—and has been unemployed ever since.
Last January, Liverpool reportedly considered Villas-Boas for their own managerial position before giving Kenny Dalglish the job full-time. It is quite possible that Liverpool will take another look at the 34-year-old Villas-Boas.
2. David Moyes
There aren't many managers in the Premier League who have been able to find the relative success that David Moyes has.
A manager known for his uncanny ability to bring the best out of the players he has, the 49-year-old Scot led his team to an impressive seventh-place finish this season (above Liverpool, despite having a comparatively weak squad).
His intermittent employment of a hybrid 4-6-0 formation is a credit to his ability to make do with what he has, and make the most of his situation.
At just over 10 years in charge, the Glasgow native (last season, there were more managers from Glasgow [six] in the Premier League than managers from England) is the third-longest-tenured manager in the Premier League, behind only Sir Alex Ferguson and Arsene Wenger.
With the funds Liverpool can provide and the talent and potential the club can attract, David Moyes could find a job at Anfield easy. He could be the perfect candidate for the managerial position.
Henry will just have to pry him away from his cross-city rivals first.
1. Roberto Martinez
Undoubtedly one of the most underrated managers in the Premier League, Roberto Martinez is ready to take the step up to managing an elite club.
The 38-year-old Spaniard has spent the last three seasons fighting to save Wigan from a seemingly perennial relegation battle after leading Swansea to a League One title in 2007-08. Despite an often stingy chairman in Dave Whelan, Martinez has been able to make the most out of his situation at the DW Stadium, seeing public opinion of him around the Premier League steadily rise with his relative success.
Martinez is known for his shrewdness in the transfer market, a characteristic that will surely be at the forefront of the minds of the Liverpool owners as they handpick their new manager.
He secured the services of stars Franco Di Santo, Shaun Maloney, James McCarthy and Victor Moses for a combined fee of less than £7 million. This shows that Martinez knows how to navigate the transfer window—and with recent transfer disasters such as Charlie Adam and Stewart Downing highlighting the Reds' squad, Henry will be keen to add a manager with the calibre of Martinez to his backroom staff.
Roberto Martinez could well find himself in charge at Anfield next season.
Follow Jake Ware on Twitter at @JacobWare95