Everton shelled out a huge fee when they bought Richarlison from Watford back in the summer, parting with an initial sum of around £35m to bring the Brazilian international to Goodison Park – as reported by the BBC, clauses in the deal could take the fee to around £50m, which would eclipse the club-record £45m spent on Gylfi Sigurdsson.
The 21-year-old started his Premier League career with the Hornets in impressive fashion, quickly introducing himself as a typically skilful Brazilian flair player, but with the ability to turn his mercurial talents into goals and assists.
However, after Marco Silva was sacked, Richarlison’s form nosedived, and he finished the 2017/18 campaign with just five goals and four assists to his name at Vicarage Road, as seen on his Whoscored page.
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There seems to be a good relationship between Silva and the former Fluminense forward, with that suggestion further reinforced when the Portuguese manager convinced his new bosses to splash the cash to bring his favourite to Merseyside.
It mustn’t be forgotten that Richarlison is a very young player, and arrived on these shores as a youngster who had never played his football outside of Brazil, so his debut season can be forgiven. This term, however, he has looked far more mature in a central role for the Toffees, scoring nine league goals in 20 starts, as per Whoscored, and proving to be far more efficient and consistent in his movement and end product.
At such a young age, and taking the state of the current market into account, the deal for Richarlison could be considered a snip in a few years if he continues his upwards curve.
It is encouraging to see that he has almost doubled his tally for goals from last season just over halfway through the current campaign, and most importantly, he is playing under a manager who trusts him and will give him sufficient game time to develop.
One stat which also catches the eye is the amount of aerial duels that he has won. The 21-year-old averages 2.3 aerial duels won per game in the league, as per Whoscored, which suggests that he is learning how to use his broad frame more effective in the physical English game.
He has been an astute signing who has impressed hugely, and so long as Silva is at the helm, he should continue his rapid rise as a footballer which has seen him score three times in his six appearances for Brazil – his form has also attracted glances from the Camp Nou, with Barcelona keeping tabs on his progress according to The Daily Star in December.