Everton to build around Richarlison

As we near the final weekend of this truly bizarre Premier League season, transfer rumours continue to swirl with today’s stories linking Everton to two new forwards.

For me though going forward, hopefully to bigger and better things, Everton should look to build their attack around an existing talent; Brazilian star Richarlison.

These latest rumours claim that the Toffees are in the hunt for two strikers playing for the Glasgow Old Firm giants, Rangers and Celtic.

The Blues are supposedly tracking both Rangers’ Alfredo Morales and Celtic’s Odsonne Edouard both of whom are allegedly looking for Premier League moves.

These stories in the Liverpool Echo say that Everton will send Moise Kean on loan 350 miles north to Scotland in return for acquiring the Ger’s Colombian forward.

And as for Celtic’s Edouard, they claim that the Frenchman is also ready to try his luck south of the border too after scoring a hatful of goals at Parkhead.

I wouldn’t give either of these articles a great deal of credence and I doubt Carlo Ancelotti or Marcel Brands are tracking either player. But I could be wrong of course.

And anyway I think the Toffees already have the player up front who they should be looking long-term to build their attack around.

Richarlison has had his best season in an Everton shirt this term, netting 15 times and emerging as a genuine goal threat of the highest calibre.

I think this is a remarkable tally given how inconsistent the team he is playing in has been this season and the paucity of so much of the Blues attacking play.

Richarlison has developed his ability to take chances and become more clinical. Now, if he has three chances in a game you would expect him to net at least once.

The Brazilian’s goals have also come in all sorts of ways. He’s scored opportunistic goals, cultured strikes and plenty of powerful headers too.

That ability in the air is an unexpected plus, making him even more effective in the Premier League where there is still a premium on making use of set-pieces, just as on Monday night.

As I mentioned in my match review following Everton’s 1-0 win at Sheffield United, I feel that Richarlison can become the striking focal point for his team.

I think this could be a real option for the Blues to consider. I don’t mean playing as an orthodox centre-forward, he’s been tried in that role and without a great deal of support he struggles and it inhibits his natural instincts to roam and swap positions.

Rather, I see him operating as a looser interchangeable point to a flexible attacking line. I feel the Blues will be more effective going forward if they can become less rigid in their attacking tactics.

So what this means is that ideally Richarlison operates alongside two other midfield/forward players who can interchange providing a more fluid attack to challenge the opposition defence.

To some extent we got to see this possibility in the game against Sheffield United. Ancelotti played a sort of 4-2-3-1 with players changing positions and one that was able to flexibly adjust during the game.

Who might those other forwards to play alongside Richarlison be? Well there aren’t many candidates amongst the existing players who I feel confident can do the job!

So I would like to see Everton heed this idea when they look at those midfield reinforcements they are hoping to bring in.

One of those who might fit the bill could be Marcus Thuram of Borussia Moenchengladbach. The 22-year-old Frenchman is a versatile midfielder/forward who can operate on the left, centre and also occasionally on the right. He can play in a more traditional midfield or as part of a 4-3-3.

Thuram contributes goals and assists and would seem just the type of young, versatile attacking talent that the Toffees should be looking at.

Another player already mentioned in the past who can provide this kind of versatile attacking play, is Maxwel Cornet of Lyon. The 23-year-old Ivory Coast player can again operate as a traditional wide midfielder or as a more flexible attacker.

I think that players such as these two, together with Richarlison, would give Everton a potent and versatile attacking force that could also double as strong defensive hinge on the midfield flanks and middle, if the Blues needed to adjust and defend deeper.