Blues Duo Hail Richarlison's Class

by Paul McNamara
@Everton

Richarlison boasts the potential to “be as good as he wants” and is capable of “making something happen” every time he has the ball.

The Everton attacker marked his full Brazil debut by scoring twice in a 5-0 rout of El Salvador this week. Richarlison earned his first senior call off the back of a stellar start to the campaign with the Blues following a summer transfer from Watford.

And two Toffees defenders who observe the 21-year-old delve into his heavily-stocked box of tricks on the training pitches at USM Finch Farm every day, share a belief that the Club has an exceptional talent on its hands.

Michael Keane played both of Everton’s opening two games of the season – against Wolverhampton Wanderers and Southampton – as Richarlison launched his Toffees career in a blaze of goals.

And the centre-back kept track of his new teammate’s exploits in the USA, where Richarlison won his first cap as a substitute in a 2-0 win over the home team in New Jersey last Saturday, before his explosive display in Maryland against El Salvador on Wednesday.

“It was great to see. He is enjoying his football and is a good guy to have around,” Keane told evertontv.

“He does not speak much English but you can tell he has a good spirit about him.


“We are really happy for him, it was a massive moment for him to make his debut and then score two goals. He is a class player, you could see that from his first day on the training ground.

“He is two footed and direct and works really hard for the team. He has a bit of everything.

“From what the lads [who directly face Richarlison in training] say, he is tough, because he is strong on the ball as well. He is not someone you can easily brush off it. He has the tricks and is fast.

"He has everything, so he can be as good as he wants to be.”

Mason Holgate, in common with Keane, is spared the ordeal of marking winger Richarlison on the training ground.

And the England Under-21 international centre-half is delighted to count the South American as a teammate.


Indeed, Holgate admits the forward has made a greater impression in his first seven weeks as an Everton player than anybody could have expected.

Richarlison’s first Blues goal was the product of his alert mind and quick feet as he instinctively finished from close range against newly-promoted Wolves.

He thundered in a header against Southampton on his Goodison bow – with those strikes coming either side of a sumptuous effort, cheekily steered inside the far post, for his second of the game at Wolves.

Richarlison exhibited a sharp sense of occasion in the manner he got off the mark for his national side. He opened up his body and caressed a first-time, right-footed strike from 18 yards beyond El Salvador goalkeeper Henry Hernandez on 16 minutes. Shortly after the break he strode onto a pass into the box and fired low into the net with his left foot.

“He is a great player. When we signed him, we all knew what he was about,” said Holgate.

“But he has hit the ground running. And it is great for him and us that he has that kind of confidence. We know we can give him the ball and he will make something happen.

“He has exceeded expectations in the games he has played. He has shown what he can do and is capable of continuing to do it and helping us a lot.”

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