Following an immensely impressive 3 year spell with the Toffees, Romelu Lukaku swapped Goodison Park for Old Trafford last summer in a deal which left the club short of quality at centre-forward.
Lukaku was certainly not unanimously popular amongst the Everton supporters during his time with the club. His inconsistent first-touch and tendency to squander a chance or two before finding the back of the net frustrated the fan base and the Man United supporters have found it difficult to warm to the Belgium international at times for the same reasons.
But there’s no doubt that Everton’s threat in the final-third has diminished since his departure. After all, he finished his career as the club’s all-time top goalscorer with 87 goals from 166 Premier League appearances – not bad for a donkey eh?
Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s lack of experience at the highest level manifested itself last season as he struggled in a lone striker role after the impossible task of stepping into Lukaku’s shoes was bestowed upon him.
Cenk Tosun eventually came to the rescue in the January transfer window and he has impressed without setting the world alight since arriving at the club.
Tosun is certainly a level below what Lukaku offered, but Marco Silva might just have solved Everton’s conundrum by signing Richarlison for a whopping £35 million in the summer transfer window.
The 21-year-old Brazilian’s arrival divided fans and pundits alike but the early signs suggest Everton have secured the signature of a huge talent who is only going to improve with every passing season.
Although he is a left-winger by trade, Richarlison (valued at £31.5 million by Transfermarkt) has started the season with 3 goals from his first 3 games for the club, and he continued to showcase his goal-scoring prowess for the Brazilian national team in the early hours of Wednesday morning by netting a brace against El Salvador.
Whilst it’s certainly too early to draw comparisons between Lukaku and Richarlison, his early season form certainly suggests that Silva would be wise to explore the possibility of unleashing him at the spearhead of Everton’s attack.
On paper, Richarlison possesses plenty of the attributes which form a prolific centre-forward: he is blessed with pace, mobile, confident in possession of the ball, excellent in the air and, most importantly, a natural finisher.
There is no other player in the Everton team quite like Richarlison and, after struggling to fill the void left by Lukaku in the past twelve months, it’s fair to say the solution to Silva’s problem could be staring him in the face.
Everton fans – thoughts on Richarlison? Let us know below!