BBC pundit Noel Whelan has hailed Everton’s Alex Iwobi as a ‘bigger threat’ to Richarlison in a critical verdict of the Brazilian, who has failed to replicate his successes of last season.
Richarlison struck 13 goals (WhoScored) during his maiden Premier League campaign at Goodison Park, with the Brazilian thriving back under former Watford boss Marco Silva, after the Toffees spent £35million rising to £50m (BBC) to lure the winger away from Vicarage Road.
But the 22-year-old is yet to replicate his successes, after scoring just twice in his opening eight league outings of the term, for a minute per goal hit rate 129.9 minutes worse off than that achieved in 2018/19.
The Brazil forward has also only assisted once this season and has frequently lost possession through unsuccessful touches, with four touches handing over possession at Crystal Palace before three against Aston Villa, Sheffield United and Burnley in games the Toffees would lose.
Iwobi, meanwhile, has started just three top-flight fixtures and scored once since moving to Merseyside from Arsenal in the summer for a potential £34m (BBC), and Whelan feels it will be Marco Silva getting the Nigerian firing on all cylinders that will keep the Portuguese in a job.
“Richarlison looks like he has lost confidence and belief in himself, and Iwobi is a bigger threat,” Whelan told to Football Insider.
“He was the most effective Everton player against Burnley at the weekend. He’s got the pace and ability to beat players and create chances, and that’s something they’re lacking at the moment.
“He’s a brilliant talent, he just needs to find more consistency and better decision-making. The raw skill and ability is there. If he starts to realise his potential, he can keep Silva in his job.”
While Whelan has hailed Iwobi for his ability at creating chances, some of Everton’s problems have stemmed from their inability to put the ball into the back of the net, rather than not carving out the opportunities to do so.
In the eight league games played prior to the October international break, the Toffees had fashioned an average 12.8 shots per game, which placed Silva’s men tenth in the Premier League, but had only converted six of their total 102 efforts into goals, while only 34 of their shots have been on target.
This has meant Silva and Everton entered the international break inside the bottom three, and will host West Ham United on the 19th looking for only their third win of the campaign.
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