Monday, July 4, 2022

Tottenham Hotspur transfer rumor: Would Everton’s Richarlison make sense in Antonio Conte’s side?

Richarlison could be on the move to Tottenham reports Bruno Andrade. The Brazilian forward is in advanced negotiations to make the move from Everton to North London. No official bid has been made as Everton want upwards of €60 million to make a move happen. The potential move isn’t the first bit of business these two teams have talked over recently. Frank Lampard was reportedly interested in Harry Winks in January, a window when Everton did add Dele Alli to their midfield ranks. It at least raises the possibility there could be interest to turn the deal into a player swap in order to lower Everton’s asking price.

It’s no secret that Richarlison wants out at Everton after helping the Toffees secure another season in the top flight last year. After breaking into the Brazil national team, Richarlison is at a place in his career where he can reasonably expect to challenge himself at the highest levels of the game (not to mention get the paychecks associated with that level). Across 30 Premier League matches last season Richarlison scored 10 goals and assisted five more, playing a part in 35 percent of all the goals scored by the Toffees the highest of any member of the team.

Some of the team’s reliance on him was due to injuries to Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Demarai Gray but it still shows that when the chips are down Richarlison can carry an attack. He is also able to play any position in a front three which is appealing for Antonio Conte. Spurs currently have entrenched starters in Heung-Min Son, Harry Kane, and Dejan Kulusevski that Richarlison likely wouldn’t displace, but with Champions League commitments and current wingers on the team like Lucas Moura and Steven Bergwijn wanting to leave, there are plenty of minutes to go around.

The Richarlison rumor may seem to have come out of nowhere, but Spurs Director of Football Fabio Paratici is the kind transfer maven that’s usually negotiates for more than one player at a time. In fact he reportedly operates by working from a list of up to ten targets for every position. Brazil’s Lucas Paqueta is already on that list so the transition to Richarlison makes sense as Newcastle United and their Saudi Arabian funded PIF resources enter the race for the Lyon winger.

Is this the right move for Richarlison?

Entering a World Cup year, Richarlison does need to be careful with where he chooses to go as he becomes more important to Brazil’s rotation by the day. The draw of Champions League is large, but if he can’t stake a claim to regular playing time then things could be murky come November. Due to the trio of wingers Lucas, Bergwijn, Bryan Gil all facing uncertain futures with Spurs, there should be plenty of game time to go around for Richarlison.

Not only will the Premier League have five substitutes, but with so many games Richarlison would have a role to play in almost every match. He’ll also be a great insurance policy for if any of Conte’s key attacking players were to end up with an injury. If Richarlison wants to move within England while still having a shot at Champions League, Spurs are currently his best option, although he could be a starter every week at a number of Champions League clubs in Europe if he wanted to.

Does it make sense for Spurs?

Gabriel Jesus would certainly be a safer signing for Spurs, with his Champions League experience and stretches coming off the bench as a super sub for Manchester City, but that also makes him a harder target to attain. With Arsenal circling and being able to offer a spot right in the starting lineup, it’s fair to expect Jesus to prefer that over sitting on the bench with Spurs. But for Richarlison, who hasn’t proven himself at this level yet, using this to either work his way into a starting role or an eventual transfer to another team even further up the Champions League food chain makes sense. 

The fit is there but so is a dash of concern. When it comes to Richarlison’s petulance, it’s something that can be a boon to a team when he wins a last minute penalty to turn a loss into a draw, but it can also sink you at the same time. Richarlison received nine yellow cards last season and can give away fouls in dangerous areas. It’s something that Conte may be able to stamp out in his game, but when two fiery characters meet, there is always a chance of an explosion. 

You take the good with the bad as Richarlison’s work rate is impressive for an attacking player. He’ll have no issues tracking back on defense and helping start the break which is key to Conte’s style of play. If a deal can be made for a reasonable rate, this is the type of addition that can help close the gap between Spurs and the rest of the Premier League title contenders. One of the biggest differences between a good team and a great team is depth, something Richarlison would certainly provide Spurs with. 

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