Lesser managers would have taken a squad with clear limitations down last season and he deserves credit for guiding them to a 15th-placed finish in the Premier League and steering them comfortably clear of the relegation zone.
But what next for the former Liverpool boss?
While there are few high-profile jobs available, Benitez will undoubtedly be in demand and there a few interesting options for him to consider.
Here, Express Sport looks at there possible options that might be available to him in the near future.
It might just be a coincidence that Luis Enrique stepped down as boss of the Spain national team just five days before the news of Benitez’ departure.
But is he not the obvious choice to take over – even if Enrique’s former assistant Robert Moreno is set to guide them through Euro 2020?
Benitez has been a success everywhere he has been and has proved he can get the best out of top-class players having won La Liga with Valencia, the Champions League with Liverpool and the Europa League at Chelsea.
Spain have quality in every area but have failed to seriously challenge in recent international tournaments.
Throwing Benitez’s pragmatism in to the mix might not be the most exciting prospect but it might just make them an international force once again.
Dalian Yifang have reportedly offered Benitez a whopping £12million year to make the switch to China – and that could be difficult to turn down.
He would become the highest-paid manager in the mega-rich Chinese Super League but it would be seen by many as admission that he is no longer cut out for life at the very top.
Big names like Sven-Goran Ericsson and Fabio Capello have all previously made the move but few have come out the other end with big clubs in Europe queuing up to take them.
This would make sense in a few years but for now he should have his sights in a much bigger job.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is already under pressure after United’s horrendous end to last season.
They are facing a difficult start to the next campaign and it might only take a few more bad results for Solskjaer before there is a vacancy at Old Trafford again.
Fans would not like it given his connections with Liverpool but stranger things have happened. Benitez was a hugley unpopular appointment at Chelsea but his time there can only be described as a success.
United are still to rectify their glaring problems in the transfer market and if things continue to get worse a good case could be made for turning to the experience of Benitez to steady the ship.