Mon 12 Nov by Nick Said
When Everton paid Watford a fee potentially rising to 50-million pounds for Brazilian youngster Richarlison there were many who thought they had grossly overpaid, with former Arsenal forward Paul Merson going so far as to say the club had “spoiled’ the transfer window.It did look a gamble for the 21-year-old, who had played for new Everton boss Marco Silva at Watford, but failed to live up to his billing.However, Silva saw that in a new set-up, with better players around him, Richarlison could shine and now some three months into the new season it looks as though Everton may have picked up a bargain.The winger has six goals in 10 starts for the club this season, and has played a part in Brazil’s last four internationals after making his debut against the United States in September. He netted twice in the victory over El Salvador.He was much derided at Watford, where his obvious talent looked stifled, but at an Everton side that is trying to reinvent itself after the dour tenure of Sam Allardyce last season, he is the focal-point of an exciting attack.Though usually a winger, he has been pushed into the centre-forward role with the Toffees and not disappointed with his pace and natural finishing ability."Richarlison is a fantastic football player and he gives everything for us," Silva said. "He fights and enjoys the game.“He is a player who always arrives in the box. He gives us good things as a striker and as a winger. Yes, in the first matches he scored three times as a winger but after that he had games as a winger and didn’t score. When he plays as a striker it is not just about scoring.”
Richarlison has been included in Brazil’s squad for their friendly games against Uruguay on Friday and Cameroon next Tuesday, and if recent games are anything to go by, he should feature heavily alongside the likes of Neymar and Coutinho.Born in Nova Venécia, a modest municipality of just 50,000 people on the coast, he was 18 when he made his professional debut for América-MG in 2015.He joined Rio de Janeiro giants Fluminense after just one season and excellent there too, catching the eye of Watford, who paid 11.2-million pounds.Despite his mediocre first campaign, the Premier League club made a healthy profit when they sold him to Everton a year later, but it looks as though the Merseysiders may have got the best of the deal.