Allardyce's West Ham future is in doubt, with his contract up at the end of the season and no word yet on any extension. Benitez, meanwhile, has recently been linked with a move to the Premier League club.
And it's a move ex-West Ham man Etherington would very much approve of - due to the club's ambitions and what he sees as the Spaniard's desire to return to England.
Etherington told WHUFCTV when asked who should replace Big Sam: "Rafa Benitez. He would be the perfect fit for me, especially moving into the new stadium and the club wanting to push on up the league and win trophies. He is looking to come back to English football and I think he would relish the opportunity to come to West Ham."
Etherington's claim, of course, is an intriguing one. Benitez has won the Champions League and worked in the Premier League, Serie A and La Liga.
West Ham remains an attractive possibility for many managers but would the Spaniard 'relish' the opportunity to move to Upton Park as much as the former winger suggests?
From the club's perspective, the 55-year-old perhaps remains the most exciting option to replace Allardyce, in that his approach, allayed with his vast European experience, should be different enough to that of West Ham's current boss.