Until now, the January transfer window was lacking an enormous random link which made everybody do a double-take. That all changed when reports appeared promising Barcelona had bid £85million for Richarlison, which Everton had refused the deal immediately.
It’s the most recent in a seemingly long line of efforts by the Catalan giants to bolster their attacking options. Deprived of Luis Suárez’s services for the near future, the LaLiga winners are in dire need of an attacker.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s title was mooted but Barça balked at the cost tag Arsenal slapped on the 30-year-old. A last-minute effort to hijack the Bruno Fernandes to Manchester United deal collapsed and this is when Barcelona turned their focus, yet more, the means of Richarlison.
The LaLiga giants have a longstanding interest from the Brazilian with Eric Abidal, the club’s sporting director, a major fan of the 22-year-old.
Sky Sports News assert Barcelona made an enquiry at the summer before their failed effort to deliver Neymar back to Camp Nou. Then they go on to say Abidal feels like Richarlison could play alongside Suarez, in addition to in place of him.
He is operated as a broad forward, he has headed the line and he has played as a member of a two in the attack. He shares similarities with the Uruguayan marksman, but he is nowhere near as successful.
They are in no rush to market and nor do they want to. However, are they ever going to find a better offer? His departure might help fund a Carlo Ancelotti rebuild.
He is still just 22, so time is on his side. But players who go for mega-money are prolific goalscorers. Richarlison has 21 in 57 because of the change to Merseyside. It is by no means a bad record, but the finest in the league has a tendency to better that in one campaign. That is what he is up against.
He is adding value to his efforts, an enormous positive, but he is not getting into high-quality positions on a regular basis, and that’ll be a concern.
Over the course of a 38-game year, Richarlison will be expected to score ten goals using his average for this year. He will better that figure but when outperforming his inherent numbers, his goal return is not spectacular.
Naturally, those numbers are reliant on the team he is playing in. If Everton are underperforming, which they’ve been, then it’s tricky to show the world precisely what you can do. Yet others have impressed in fighting sides and there has not been much evidence to indicate Richarlison could function to a higher degree in a better group.
That is not to say the former Fluminense attacker has not been heavily involved for the Toffees. He is averaging close to three shots per 90, taking over five bits in the playground with 13 of his 24 tried moves are coming in the last third. The Brazilian forward is not being starved of support.
Richarlison will have to step up for the rest of the season if he is to justify any type of £100million valuation. And that will need to continue into the 2020/21 campaign.