When Richarlison moved from Watford to Everton in 2018 for a staggering £50 million (including add-ons), questions were asked. Certainly a talented player with a high ceiling, natural ability and a good work ethic. But was he consistent enough to justify that sort of fee? Just one season at Vicarage Road where he started brilliantly and tailed off after Christmas in 2017/18. Those questions have certainly been answered. It’s fair to say the Brazilian is thriving on Merseyside and one of the most underrated players in the league.
The 22 year old has been going from strength to strength for the Toffees. 5 goals and 4 assists for the Hornets in his only season with them was promising. But at Goodison Park, he’s taken his game to the next level. Following a respectable debut season in 2018/19 with 13 goals and 1 assist in 35 appearances, Richarlison has built on that. What you’d expect when you go from Marco Silva to Carlo Ancelotti. With 10 goals and 3 assists in just 26 games, he looks set to surpass last season’s tally.
Most underrated striker?
We all saw the ridiculous last ditch £85 million bid by Barcelona for the former Fluminense striker. Most people’s initial reaction was to laugh at both parties. The Blaugrana for making the bid and Everton for rejecting it. I did too at first. But the more you look into Richarlison’s season, his age and when you watch him play, you realise why the Toffees rejected it without hesitation. This guy is special.
“It depends on him but he can be a world class player.”Ancelotti on Richarlison’s potential
Despite this progression, you hardly hear anyone talking about the Brazilian international. He’s criminally underrated. The Copa America winner has more goals than Roberto Firmino, and Heung-Min Son in 2019/20. No disrespect to either of them, but they both have better players around them and better service than what Richarlison gets. A testament to how good he could become in the future. Not to mention, there’s more to his game than goals:
Richarlison – Style of Play
At 5ft 10, Richarlison has a strange frame for your typical Brazilian attacker. He’s a lot taller, still quick but not lightning quick and far more of a physical presence. Rather than having that low centre of gravity and agility to beat defenders, he uses his strength and physicality. The Brazilian international’s hold up play is excellent, often holding his own against the best defenders in the league. In fact, the video shows how he bullies them when going for headers. An absolute nightmare to deal with.
The video perhaps doesn’t highlight enough the work the former Watford winger does off the ball. He’s an incredibly industrious forward, working tirelessly for the team and fights for the badge. The tenacity you see from other South Americans like Lucas Torreira and Fred. It’s no wonder he’s a fan favourite on the blue of Merseyside.
This season in the Premier League, Richarlison is averaging a staggering 2.2 tackles per game. HE’S A STRIKER and these are figures better than most defenders would put up. It epitomises how important the Brazilian is to this Everton side. Without him, they would struggle to break up play let alone score goals, which really does say a lot.
People often, and rightly so, credit Firmino for his role in the Liverpool team with build up play, hard work and facilitating the other two. Everton’s front-man does that too and doesn’t get anywhere near the same amount of plaudits. It’s time we change that.
Then of course, the goals. As shown in the video, Richarlison is a huge aerial threat. Maybe not a giant, but he’s tall enough, and athletic enough, to cause defenders problems. Some of the quality of headers he scores in the video are impressive. Powerful ones, diving headers and even glancing ones. The 22 year old is a poacher in the box too. With 2.7 shots per game, he’s too footed too and would hesitate to shoot with his left. Moreover, the striker makes excellent movement off the ball to get into great positions before tapping in. The pace and strength combined make him such a handful for any side.
But there’s more too. Alongside the goals and tenacity, Richarlison is a great playmaker. Often drifting wide and running the channels, he has great vision for a pass and crosses, as shown in the clips. Averaging 1.2 key passes per game, the Brazilian is the source of Everton’s creativity alongside their goals. Genuinely I don’t know where they would be without him.
Richarlison – On the rise
People often, and rightly so, credit Firmino for his role in the Liverpool team with build up play, hard work and facilitating the other two. Everton’s front-man does that too with more goals and doesn’t get anywhere near the same amount of plaudits. It’s time we change that.
I genuinely think he’s the perfect striker. Pace, power, creativity, work rate, there’s not much more you can ask for. It’s just a question now of consistency and can he keep this up for another season. Because if he does, Everton will struggle to keep hold of Richarlison from the elite teams in Europe.
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