As the ever-expanding list of summer transfer targets continues to grow, one name heavily rumoured for a move to Tottenham is Everton forward Richarlison.
Discussion around the player is already splitting opinions amongst fans, as the divisive forward has a particular love or hate element to his game.
Richarlison is somewhat egotistical, which, while it’s not necessarily a negative, would mean if he is eventually pictured holding a Tottenham shirt, it would surely be with a promise of significant game time from Antonio Conte.
Conte would presumably be a fan of the Brazilian’s on-pitch persona, as he embodies the Italian’s touchline charisma in his performances.
His aggression and tenacity are missing at the top of the pitch, and his willingness to fight for the badge and teammates displayed at Everton would be a real asset, as these traits helped endear Cristian Romero to the Spurs faithful.
While his personality and on-pitch demeanour may be up for debate, Richarlison’s goalscoring, while not astronomic, is a more than respectable Premier League record.
Last season, despite spearheading a relegation-threatened Everton outfit, the forward still registered ten goals and five assists, recording an impressive 0.5 goal contributions per game.
In prior seasons, Richarlison produced 10, 16, 15, and 10 goal contributions in three seasons at Goodison Park and his debut Premier League campaign with Watford.
The Brazilian has 48 goals and 18 assists in 173 Premier League appearances. However, in a more dominant and higher quality side like Tottenham, there is potential for these numbers to grow.
Aside from goal contributions, Richarlison’s work rate fits the mould of a Conte-style forward, as his FB Ref numbers depict a high-intensity, all-action player.
Of forwards in Europe’s top five leagues, Richarlison profiles in the top 10% for pressures, blocks, interceptions, and tackles, most of which presumably take place within the opposition half owing to his advanced position.
This energy is a box checked for Conte, as his willingness to press high up the pitch may help facilitate opposition mistakes and win possession in dangerous areas.
Does the cost prohibit Tottenham and Richarlison?
Unfortunately, with the rumoured fee for Richarlison being in the region of £60 million, this perhaps bursts the bubble of an otherwise ideal transfer.
Even with our £150 million war chest, £60 million for the Evertonian seems like a tall order, especially considering our current attacking talent and need for upgrades elsewhere.
According to Transfermarkt, the Brazilian can operate anywhere across the frontline. Still, with arguably our two best players in, Harry Kane and Heung-Min occupying left-wing and striker, and January wonder-signing Dejan Kulusevski on the right, it’s hard to see where Richarlison fits.
However, squad depth will be crucial with Champions League football next season. Outside of the disappointing loan spell for Carlos Vinicius, Tottenham has had a backup striker-shaped void in the squad for years.
While one can argue there is strength in depth, in reality, is Daniel Levy going to pay a near-record fee for a potential impact sub/ backup forward? Probably not. So if he does arrive, expect to see him feature heavily.
The other potential drawback of Richarlison is the surrounding opportunity cost. If he signs ahead of other possible defensive and midfield upgrades, this may represent the mismanagement of highly valued resources as we look to strengthen the starting Xi.
With all that said, as a fanbase, we have been collectively crying out for Conte to have control in the market, and ultimately, that means if he wants Richarlison, we should too.
Having watched him play for Everton, I have little doubt he would be a fine addition at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium and, if nothing else, would be another reliable source of goals in the side.