Eyebrows were raised when Everton paid £40m to sign Richarlison from Watford during the summer transfer window. However, the Brazilian has hit the ground running at the Toffees, scoring three goals in his opening two matches of his Everton career. Marco Silva has enjoyed an unbeaten start to the season in his new role and his faith in the 21-year-old has been rewarded.
Silva signed Richarlison for Watford last season, although the Brazilian played under his manager for only six months before the Portuguese left Vicarage Road. However, Silva identified the winger as one of the players needed to improve Everton’s fortunes in the final third following his arrival on Merseyside. He has already proven his dynamic ability in and around the box, with his three goals that have helped the Toffees claim four points from a possible six.
Everton were made to rue a slow start to the season last term. Ronald Koeman spent heavily in the transfer market, but failed to conjure positive results in the Premier League and Europa League. Sam Allardyce was brought in to rescue the Toffees from the brief threat of relegation, although he did not win many supporters over with his style of play. Silva has the opportunity to succeed where his predecessors did not in guiding Everton to a top-four place to justify their significant outlays in the transfer market since Farhad Moshiri became the majority shareholder.
The club are backed at 14/1 in the Premier League betting odds to qualify for the Champions League. Everton’s performances under Silva in the opening two matches of the season have not been flawless, but with Richarlison they have a proven match-winner. His pace and movement were too much for Wolves to handle in the opening match of the term at Molineux. The 21-year-old displayed his clinical edge in the final third to score twice when his team needed production after being reduced to 10 men after the dismissal of Phil Jagielka.
Players that can beat a defender with sheer pace and skill are in great demand. As a result, Everton did have to part with £40m to secure the Brazilian’s signature. His two goals against Wolves proved that he has all the attributes to be a world-class operator on the flank. Richarlison maintained his standard of performance against Southampton, giving Cedric Soares a difficult afternoon down the wing. Richarlison’s nous allowed him to nip ahead of his man to score his team’s decisive second goal that was the difference between the two sides at Goodison Park.
The 21-year-old had a bright start to his career at Watford before tailing off towards the end of the term. He was not the player he was when Silva was managed when Javi Gracia arrived. Consistency at the highest level is the true hallmark of what separates the truly elite players from the rest of the pack. Richarlison has provided the spark and additional quality in brief spells, but Everton will need him at the peak of his powers throughout the term to qualify for the Champions League.