October 4

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How has Richarlison evolved at Tottenham Hotspur?


 

When Richarlison left a struggling Everton side to join Tottenham Hotspur, many Premier League fans believed the move made sense on paper. The Brazilian, who arrived on Merseyside after impressing in his maiden campaign with Marco Silva at Watford, became a crucial component in Everton’s survival, having been let down by his side for most of the season. The natural progression was to leave Goodison Park, and linking up with a coach like Antonio Conte, renowned for getting the best out of hard-working attackers, meant he ticked all the boxes. However, few would have imagined the meteoric rise Richarlison has undertaken in the past few months.

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Seemingly out of nowhere, Richarlison has made himself un-droppable in the Spurs starting line-up. A slight niggle to Dejan Kulusevski, who himself had just completed a permanent move to north London from Juventus, coincided with a difficult run of form for Son Heung-Min, and the Brazilian capitalised on it.

Within a few weeks, the 25-year-old had established himself as a more traditional number nine, showing he can cut it at an elite club whilst combining with Harry Kane to score goals domestically and in Europe. Indeed, his brace on his Champions League debut at home to Marseille reduced Richarlison to tears. This was finally his moment to stamp his authority on the English game, and it looks to be rewarded with a starting place in the Brazil side at the Qatar World Cup, a tournament his country are favourites for amongst most football betting sites.

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For many years now the Seleção have been craving a reliable goal scorer, and with coach Tite’s plans aligning with Conte’s to play two centre-forwards, Richarlison looks like the man for both club and country. While Brazil play an old-school 4-4-2 that sees Neymar occupy more central positions, at Spurs, Richarlison is used in a more creative role.

That’s not to say he hasn’t found the back of the net. Initially used off the bench, his pace and ability to arrive in the final third has added another string to Conte’s bow at Spurs, and while it might be too early to consider them genuine title challengers, they remain unbeaten at the time of writing and look the closest contenders to Manchester City over the course of a season given Liverpool’s inconsistent start.

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The next step for Richarlison is to demonstrate consistency. One of his biggest criticisms is that he doesn’t deliver as often as he should, or score as many goals as he is capable of given his availability. At Everton, it was perhaps acceptable to fly under the radar, especially when the team is underperforming, but Spurs have high standards and even with Son returning to form, it will be testament to Richarlison’s longevity if he can keep last season’s Golden Boot winner out of the team. He’s shown he has a taste for goals in Europe, and with Spurs itching to get out of the group they’ll need the Brazilian to replicate the kind of performances against Marseille and Sporting Lisbon that impressed Conte so much.

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“I remember when we signed him he said I can’t wait to hear the Champions League music and play in this competition,” Conte said. “Not many words but important words for me. Today, I remembered this and I said to him, Richi I remembered what you said, this is your chance and you deserved this. Enjoy this and try to do your best. He did his best, and he helped us get three points in a difficult game.”

Only time will tell if Richarlison will be a mainstay at Spurs, or whether he can lead the line for Brazil in Qatar. He is an extremely talented striker with bags of potential, he just needs to prove his quality on a more regular basis and the world is at his fingertips.

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