According to Sky Sports, Tottenham are now in advanced talks with Everton over the signing of Brazilian Richarlison.
The signing, if completed, will cost about £60 million all-in. That would include the signing bonus and all included fees.
While nobody is questioning the Brazilian’s ability to contribute offensively, is he worth forking out £60 million? Tottenham’s fanbase is pretty split on that £60 million question.
First things first.
He wouldn’t come into the team with a starting spot in Antonio Conte’s first eleven. Conte’s attacking places are secured by Harry Kane, Son Heung-min and Dejan Kulusevski. However, he would certainly create competition up front while offering a sublime secondary attacking option.
He scored 10 goals and added five helpers last season with Everton. The 25-year-old, especially in Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s absence, showed proficiency and pedigree playing in a temporary role as the Toffees’ lone striker. He also provided spirit and unrelenting fight in Everton’s battle to avoid relegation.
However, he also shows disconcerting signs of petulance and immaturity. With all of his undeniable ability, he has the stigma of disappearing from matches, even multiple matches on the bounce.
He has been seen fighting with teammates about the right to take penalties and is known to have a chip the size of his homeland perched on his shoulder.
However, if Conte can find a way to harness his energy in the right way, Richarlison can be extremely effective.
There is no questioning his ability to put the ball in the net. He has shown that is not an issue.
Richarlison can also turn the momentum of a match and is a match winner, though I’m not sure what impact he’d have on the locker room in terms of chemistry.
In a way, he resembles a Wilfried Zaha, a player Spurs were recently interested in. Zaha knows how to put the ball in the back of the net but was and still is an enigma. He lets things get to him and has a tendency to do rash, ill-advised things that cost the team.
Richarlison is capable of those same damaging tendencies.
It’s crucial for Conte to not only bring in players who can immediately impact the first team, but also those who positively help with chemistry, team morale and collective camaraderie. The jury is still out on whether Richarlison can fit that prototype.
Then again, Conte always gets the best out of his players, so why would it be any different with Richarlison?
Even if Conte can get the best out of Richarlison, he’s not the type of player who will selflessly have his teammates’ backs unconditionally and in perpetuity.
And for that reason alone Spurs shouldn’t sign the enigmatic Brazilian.