Former Newcastle and England midfielder Rob Lee has told Football FanCast that Everton’s signing of Josh King has served to bring the best out of Richarlison.
Carlo Ancelotti’s side have been in excellent form this season and are currently eighth in the Premier League table.
They are just five points off fourth-placed Chelsea with a game in hand, meaning there is some genuine excitement on the blue half of Merseyside as they consider the possibility of qualifying for Europe.
King arrived at the club in January and has played eight times in the league, with all of his appearances coming as a substitute.
Since the Norway international’s debut against Leeds United, Richarlison has scored four goals in nine games, nailing down his starting spot in Ancelotti’s XI.
And Lee thinks the arrival of King may well have inspired that form.
He told FFC: “I think he’s started well. I think they’ve got a good team, if you look around at their team and their squad, they’ve got some good people that don’t get in the team as well. He’s [Ancelotti] got them playing. They’ve been really, really good.
“King’s a good signing, it seems to have spurred Richarlison on.
“Sometimes Richarlison can seem not interested, but he seems to be thinking ‘someone might take my place here’ and it’s spurred him on. I think you need them extra players.”
Lee also thinks that King will help ease the burden on Dominic Calvert-Lewin, who has been enjoying one of the best seasons of his career.
The England international has scored 19 goals in all competitions this season but he has scored just once in his last five games and Lee thinks King’s presence will prove beneficial for Calvert-Lewin.
He added: “Calvert-Lewin has been brilliant all season but he’s in a bit of a lull at the minute.
“It’s his first proper season where people will expect things from him now, at the start of the season they probably didn’t, but now they expect him to score every game.
“He’s only young, he’s going through a bit of a lull so it’s nice to have other players who can take the pressure off you and score goals. I think they’re a good team.”