Former Everton defender Michael Ball has claimed in his Liverpool Echo column that he would welcome ex-midfielder Mikel Arteta as the Toffees' new manager, but only in "three or four years time".
The 36-year-old has been linked to the role at Goodison Park, with doubts surrounding the future of current boss Sam Allardyce with fans becoming increasingly disillusioned with the former England boss.
Allardyce took over from Ronald Koeman towards the end of 2017 and has guided the Toffees into the top half of the Premier League table, with Dutchman Koeman leaving the Merseyside outfit in the relegation zone.
Allardyce is contracted at Everton for another season, but Ball reckons a replacement is required.
He discussed Arteta and although he would like to see the Spaniard in the dugout, he believes right now is too soon, though he would like to see the former Real Socieded and Rangers star return in some degree.
"Mikel Arteta is being talked about for Arsenal and, while I think it's too soon for him, it would be nice to have him back around the club in some capacity," Ball said.
"He's picked the brains of Guardiola during his time at Man City and if there was the opportunity of pairing him with someone else, that could be a good option for us for Mikel to take charge in three or four years time."
Everton have also been linked with former Watford and Hull City manager Marco Silva, as well as Shakhtar Donetsk manager Paulo Fonseca along with Arteta.
David Moyes signed Arteta - who is currently Manchester City's assistant manager to Pep Guardiola - back in 2005, and he remained at Goodison Park until 2011 before joined Arsenal.