“Rafa has got a fantastic reputation for being very well-organised, picking up results against sides that are expected to win the game, instead of his teams," Appleton told BBC 5Live.
“If this would have happened a few months ago, there might have been a chance of it happening.
“But, I think with the way Rafa is and the way he ended last season, he'll be looking to do something similar this season.
“It will then be seen as a massive achievement.
“The timing is a bit of a strange one.
“I might be completely wrong, but I get the impression that it's not something they were going to do or thought too much about.
“Ultimately to take a manager on now like Rafa or Rodgers, it's going to be one hell of a job trying to pull them away from their club."