Richarlison has been the star of Everton’s season so far and the enormity of his impact suggests he has the potential to become a Goodison Park legend.
Eight goals from 14 Premier League appearances is the type of return you would expect from a natural centre-forward, but Richarlison didn’t make his name in English football through the middle.
Typical of most Brazilian attackers, Richarlison is fluid in the final-third and doesn’t allow himself to be restricted by the manacles of his starting position – floating into spaces from left to right, running in behind and also dropping deep to influence proceedings.
His style and natural goal scoring instincts have persuaded Marco Silva to deploy him at centre-forward, sparking a debate amongst the Everton fans and within the media regarding his best position.
It remains to be seen whether he is set to become the long-term spearhead of Everton’s attack or revert to an inside-left position, but Silva’s recent team selection combined with the club’s interest in a Championship wonderkid are certainly pointing towards a central role for the £50 million man.
Indeed, a recent report from Football Insider claims that Everton are interested in signing Leeds United’s Jack Clarke, although they will face competition from Liverpool, Manchester City and Chelsea in the hunt for his signature.
Clarke is a product of Leeds United’s prestigious academy, and he has rapidly established himself as one of the hottest prospects to emerge from Thorp Arch in recent seasons with a series of eye catching cameo appearances under Marcelo Bielsa.
Like Richarlison, Clarke is a right-footed left-winger who has a tendency to cut inside and penetrate the opposition with his dazzling dribbling ability.
The problem for Brands is that he may have a hard time justifying a deal with Ademola Lookman and Bernard already offering a similar style in that position, but if he decides to go ahead with a deal there’s no doubt it will confirm where Richarlison’s future lies: at the summit of Marco Silva’s attack.
That will certainly please the Everton supporters after being starved of a reliable source of goals since Romelu Lukaku left the club, and they would also be welcoming an immensely promising young winger to bolster their options.
The stage is set for Richarlison to complete a permanent transition to centre-forward and Clarke’s arrival would catalyse that process.
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