Is Richarlison the future star of Brazil?

By • Sep 28th, 2018 • Category: News |

Is Richarlison the future star of Brazil?

When Richarlison moved from Watford to Everton in the summer, a few eyebrows were raised. He was even described by Paul Merson as the “£50 million transfer that spoiled the window”.

However, it wasn’t long before his doubters started back-tracking, after the Brazilian started his Everton career with flying colours, and earned his first (and second!) call-up to the Brazilian national team. So far at least, he is living up to his price tag.

At Brazilian side Fluminense, the attacker scored 19 goals in 67 appearances, featuring in an impressive run in the regional Campeonato Carioca. It was his speed and attacking intelligence which earned him a place in the Team of the Season and at the same time, he caught the eyes of European scouts.

He joined Watford for £11.2 million in 2017, and began the season in scintillating form, immediately settling into the Premier League and adapting his attacking intensity to the English domestic game perfectly. His performances in the first month with Watford saw him score two goals and helped Watford to three successive Premier League wins for the first time in their history. 

Following the sacking of Marco Silva, both his and the team’s performances dropped in quality. After Christmas, Richarlison failed to add to his goal tally. However, he remained in the Hornets’ squad and was the only player to play in every league game for Watford. He still provided the most assists in the team and recorded more shots than any other teammate. A key factor in the overall loss of form was that the Brazilian had played competitive football for such a long period without a break.

Everton had previously sought out Marco Silva while he was the manager of Watford and this summer, the Toffees finally got their man. We understand Richarlison became Everton’s top target once they had been thwarted in their attempts to sign Crystal Palace winger Zaha.

Everton broke their club transfer record to reunite Richarlison and Silva and paid out an initial £40 million with potential add-ons. This was a fee 4 times greater than Watford paid only a year previously – and was a move that demonstrated the ambitions of Everton, but also one that has been described as a risk. The question was, could the Brazilian be able to reclaim the form that he had found a year previous?

In his competitive debut, he certainly seemed to suggest so.

The forward the faith shown in him by the manager, scoring two debut goals against Wolves in a game where he persistently posed a threat.

This was followed-up with a well-taken headed goal and a man of the match performance in his first home game against Southampton. Despite Everton’s overall rather underwhelming start to the season, according to Betfair Premier League relegation odds, Everton are certain to retain their status as the team with the second highest consecutive top flight seasons. We’d soon back them for the top four.

Despite received a deserved red card against Bournemouth, there can be no argument that the youngster was fully deserving of his first call-up to the Brazil squad for their friendlies against USA and El Salvador.

To an extent, Richarlison represents a certain mould of Brazilian player that the national team for so long produced but have struggled to replicate in recent times. He has the ability to produce a vast number of tricks, an ability to seize on danger and, as he has shown, calm composure when finishing.

What arguably separates him from the newest generation of Brazilian attackers such as Neymar or Coutinho is his ability to physically impose himself on the game. He is not afraid of defenders and can bully them or engage in a less glamorous side of the attacking game, something that is evident each week in the Premier League. He is also constantly involved across the pitch, with his defensive work-rate contributing to Marco Silva’s frenetic style of play.

In that sense, he is more akin to the ‘complete’ attackers amongst his predecessors such as Rivaldo or Ronaldo. Indeed, Rivaldo stated that Richarlison will justify his high price tag and prove “important for Brazil soon”.  

In their search for an elusive sixth World Cup, Tite’s Brazil is focussed on finding a more ‘balanced’ approach; one that does not endlessly rely on the talismanic Neymar. With a style that recreates some of Brazil’s past adapted for the modern game, it is likely that Richarlison will find himself playing a larger role at the international level in years to come.

Despite the praise from Brazilian legends, Richarlison is a raw, young talent whose future is very much in his own hands. His 3 goals in 4 games are promising at club level, and he has already registered 2 goals for the national side.

In reuniting with Marco Silva, he has placed himself in the best possible environment – with a manager who has faith in his ability. It is obvious that the philosophy of the manager accentuates and pushes on the abilities of his attacking players, the perfect setup for Richarlison.

His goalless drought last season, alongside the recent red card does highlight that he is far from the complete article, even if his transfer fee is normally paid to more established players. 

Nonetheless, in being Everton’s top Premier League scorer and enjoying his national team selection, he is currently on the perfect path to prove his doubters wrong.  



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