Brazil boss Tite has hailed Richarlison for delivering some “needed help” in their World Cup qualifying win over Uruguay amid fears of a potential injury for the vital Everton virtuoso.
Richarlison opened the action as Brazil beat Uruguay 2-0 on Wednesday night to end the November international break top of the CONMEBOL table with a two-point lead over rivals Argentina, as the only country with a 100% winning record after the opening four games.
The 23-year-old played a key role in Brazil’s success over Uruguay with his side’s second strike of the night, with Richarlison heading home moments before the break for his eighth senior international goal in what was his 23rd appearance.
Tite was full of praise for Richarlison’s efforts in the absence of Neymar, having lost the Paris Saint-Germain star without a ball being kicked through a thigh strain.
“The story of today’s game was different from the one against Venezuela,” he said, via quotes by Globo Esporte. “We knew we would be demanded more defensively, but we would have space offensively. We needed help on the left and Richarlison did it.”
But Everton chiefs were left sweating after the match, as a red-card foul by Manchester United striker Edinson Cavani raised fears Richarlison had sustained an injury that would prevent the £90,000-per-week ace from making his Premier League return away to Fulham on Sunday.
Richarlison was forced to be subbed off as a result of Cavani stamping on his ankle, though is confident he will be able to feature at Craven Cottage after missing the Blues’ last three top-flight fixtures through suspension following last month’s sending off in the Merseyside Derby.
Carlo Ancelotti will be buoyed to have Richarlison back available after losing all three Premier League games the forward has been absent for, and will be hoping to see a similar gain from Everton’s £50million man that Tite witnessed with Brazil against Uruguay.
Yet Richarlison’s performance was far from perfect at the Estadio Centenario where a goal from Juventus’ Arthur opened the scoring, as the former Watford winger lost 72% of his total duels before being replaced in the 70th-minute, per SofaScore.
Richarlison attempted a total of nine ground duels and contended five aerial battles, but was only able to emerge triumphant in three of his ground duels and one of his aerial battles.
He further lost possession 15 times, made just one successful dribble from three attempts, could not deliver an accurate cross, misplaced 38% of his 21 passes, scored from his only shot on goal and committed one foul.
Tite was able to see Richarlison aid defensively against a side in Uruguay he suspected could peg Brazil back in their own territory, as the Everton gem offered two interceptions and one tackle as he racked up a large per cent of his 42 touches deep on the visitor’s left-hand channel while restricting Cavani and co. to zero shots on target.
Everton expect Richarlison to return to their Finch Farm training ground in the next 24-36 hours, at which point Ancelotti will either land great or worrisome news ahead of facing Fulham.