Everton are closing in on the signing of Watford’s Brazilian forward Richarlison in a transfer that could rise to the realms of £50m.
The Brazilian had been impressive in his first season of English football, having arrived from Fluminese for £11.5m, though was clearly unimpressed with the decision to sack Marco Silva following interest from Everton.
Prior to Richarlison’s well documented fade in form, he scored five goals in his first 12 Premier League games, and is unquestionably a promising player, though an outlay of £50m from a club whose transfer policy has raised eyebrows at times is yet another roll of the dice from Farhad Moshiri.
In an already clustered Evertonian midfield, including most notably Gylfi Sigurdsson, this signing raises real question marks over the role of the Icelandic international in Silva’s side. To accommodate Wayne Rooney in 2017/18, Sigurdsson was played out wide, and the departure of England’s all-time leading goalscorer was expected to signal a move back to central midfield, ideally being deployed as a 10, for Sigurdsson.
The arrival of Richarlison, a player whose favoured position lies sitting behind a target man or a false nine, will raise real questions as to whether Silva intends to play Everton’s two most expensive players in the same starting XI.
Everton were believed to be willing to pay about £35m, but clauses in the deal are likely to raise the final fee over the £50m mark. This is a huge statement of both faith and intent from Marco Silva, and the Portuguese manager will be hoping, if not praying, that Richarlison can repay this inarguably audacious transfer fee for a relatively unproven player.
Written by Tom Newman.