The reasoning behind Tottenham's reported interest in Everton star Richarlison
Posted on June 13, 2022
The transfer window has only officially been open for two days and Tottenham have already made two new signings. Ivan Perisic and Fraser Forster have joined as free agents from Inter and Southampton, respectively, but Spurs are unlikely to stop there in their quest to strengthen the squad this summer.
They remain the frontrunners to land Djed Spence as Antonio Conte looks to improve at right wing-back, while a left sided centre-back is also a priority for the north London side. Further forward, Spurs could do with another versatile attacker. Harry Kane is first choice, and the England captain has forged quite the understanding with Son Heung-Min and Dejan Kulusevski, but beyond the trio, quality options are thin on the ground.
Steven Bergwijn is set to leave, which would leave just Lucas Moura as backup for the three starters. The Brazilian struggled in front of goal last season, scoring just two and laying on an additional five assists, so bolstering in attack is key if Spurs are to end their lengthy wait for silverware. Spurs are yet to really maximise the £150m cash injection this summer, though it's only a matter of time before the club really delve into the market as they back Conte to the hilt, with Gabriel Jesus and Richarlison both emerging as potential targets for the club.
While the former has also been linked with moves to Arsenal and Chelsea, Spurs are hoping they can complete the big money capture of the latter. Everton would be reluctant to cash in on Richarlison, who has scored more league goals (43) than any other player for the Toffees since his 2018 arrival from Watford, but he'd tick a number of boxes for Spurs.
Now, it may just be a case of smoke and mirrors, with Spurs sporting director Fabio Paratici known to negotiate a number of transfers before agreeing to the best possible deal for his team, but according to the Athletic, there is a "good chance" of a move happening this summer.
What stands out most about Richarlison is his versatility on the frontline. Able to play on either flank or through the middle, the Brazilian's adaptability in the final third would afford Conte additional tactical flexibility. In his 28 league starts last season, Richarlison started six times on the left and 22 times through the middle, three of which were in the number 10 role.
For an Everton side that averaged just 8.5 key passes per game, for Richarlison to have netted 10 league goals is an impressive feat, while an additional five assists means he is an appealing option for Spurs. In addition, he'd be able to provide competition and backup for Kane as the lead striker.
The north London side have muddled through numerous campaigns with Kane as the leading frontline, but without quality options in reserve for the most part. Fernando Llorente and Carlos Vinicius each played the role well, but Richarlison's flexibility in attack means he'd be a better fit than the duo.
He would also realistically provide additional cover for Son and Kulusevski without a noted drop in quality on the frontline, while an ability to lead the charge on his own or with a partner means he'd be a top-class option for Conte in attack. 1.4 dribbles and one key pass per 90 were both respectable returns, particularly as no team averaged less possession than the Toffees (39.1%) in the Premier League last season, so the Brazil international made the most of his time on the ball.
Off it, too, he worked tirelessly for the good of the team, as he chipped in with 1.4 tackles per 90 for the Toffees. By comparison, Kulusevski (1.3) made the most tackles per 90 of Spurs' starting attacking trio, with Son and Kane both averaging 0.4 per 90. While the latter duo are more tasked with getting the goals, Richarlison would provide another hard-working alternative in attack for Conte's side.
It's early days in the transfer window, and Spurs may yet pursue other attacking options in the market, yet interest in Richarlison is hardly a shock with the 25-year-old perhaps viewed as an ideal forward addition to the north London outfit.
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