Good, better, Richarlison: Brazil star key to Everton's march
Image Via: Flickr/Pete. Used under Creative Commons
Everton are on the right path with Marco Silva at the helm. The Toffees have, somewhat easily, put a disappointing campaign behind them and got back on the right track. Several players have impressed in Everton blue this term, but one player who has particularly caught the eye is summer signing, Richarlison Andrade.
Richarlison arrived England a relative unknown - although he had begun to show promise playing for Fluminense in the Brazilian league. He was an instant hit at Watford where he excelled under Silva’s tutelage - that was until things pretty much fell apart in the second half of last season at Vicarage Road. It culminated in the Portuguese losing his job, but that didn't put off Everton from employing the 41-year-old.
Everton has always been a club with huge ambitions. Over the years, The Toffees had cemented their status as a top-table team, and looking to move one step better by being regulars in European competition.
Last season, however, served as a reality check. At one point, even relegation looked possible for the Evertonians. They managed to finish 16 points clear, though. Thank you, Sam Allardyce.
The Everton board was decisive with what they wanted for this season. They appointed Silva and gave him the backing he needed in the summer transfer window to ensure the club returned to where they belong.
One of Silva’s main aims was to sign Richarlison, and what an acquisition he has proven to be thus far. His fantastic form saw him get called up to the Brazil national team. The Everton #11 has been equally brilliant for the Selecao.
In my opinion, the 21-year-old Brazilian has been the signing of the season so far. Blessed with tremendous pace and tenacity, the youngster has proven a real handful for defenders. Obviously, being made to lead the line has brought out the best in him. He hasn’t looked out of place when playing out on the wings, either. This versatility will no doubt serve him well.
The sheer confidence he exudes when on the ball is amazing to watch. Richarlison is never one to back away from a one-on-one match-up, more often than not having the beating of his marker. He managed five goals last season for Watford, which is pretty decent knowing he was adjusting to life in England. He has already surpassed that tally this term and we aren’t even halfway through. Largely, that's down to a huge improvement in his finishing, and that'll continue to get better as he grows, matures and adapts to life at Goodison Park.
Silva is an ambitious manager. He had his pride dented somewhat when Watford fired him last season and would be looking to redeem himself on Merseyside. Everton and Silva fit each other perfectly and in Richarlison, the master-tactician has a player who can be a game-changer on his day.
If there is a manager who can get the best out of the Brazil international on a regular basis, it’s Silva. Richarlison has spoken of how highly he regards the latter, saying he sees him almost as a father figure, having had faith to bring him from his native Brazil. It's this positive player-manager relationship that leads to confident, swashbuckling displays. At this elite level, football is more mental than anything else.
Richarlison is far from the complete package, nonetheless. He does have a rash, if not nasty, side to his game and tends to be a little overconfident in possession at times, but at 21 years of age, he will learn. Right now, though, he has been the perfect example of what Everton are trying to achieve.