Carlo Ancelotti has stated Brazilian forward Richarlison is staying at Goodison Park, whether Everton qualify for the Champions League this season or not.
The manager has spoken to calm any fears that Everton might lose their Brazilian international ace in the summer window if the Toffees don’t secure a top four finish. Although slightly worryingly Ancelotti did also say he struggles to communicate effectively with Richarlison, so I hope they haven’t got their wires crossed on this one!
Richarlison’s future has been an underlying issue for a while now. The former Watford forward did sign a new contract just a few weeks before his manager Marco Silva, who had brought him to Vicarage Road and then the Blues, was sacked.
But after another difficult and frustratingly under-achieving season last term in which he had done his bit scoring thirteen goals, he had hinted he might look for a move this coming summer, if the club couldn’t match his ambitions.
This season with Ancelotti having had a summer window to bring in some of the players he wants – adding genuine star quality in James Rodriguez and excellent professionals in Allan and Abdoulaye Doucoure – hopes were high for a better campaign.
Those hopes looked well founded after the first month or so as Everton got off to a terrific start and won seven matches in a row to equal the record start to a season from all the way back in the nineteenth century.
More from Prince Rupert's Tower
Richarlison himself hadn’t been as sharp and wasn’t scoring as often as might have been expected, but it didn’t matter at first.
However, as the Toffees faltered after the first international break, so did Richarlison. In the first Premier League match after the break, he picked up a really stupid red card right at the death of that fractious Goodison Park derby draw.
That meant a three-match ban and ever since he returned from that absence Richarlison’s form has been indifferent. The goals had gone and he looked a frustrated figure. I thought perhaps he might even need a little spell out to recover his hunger and form.
But I’m glad that’s not the case and recently his form had picked up and he’s started finding the back of the net again. This is really important for Everton who have been over-reliant on Dominic Calvert-Lewin. His league goals had begun to dry up and he had also been out injured exposing a lack of goal-scoring alternatives.
So a long overdue return to form from the Brazilian is a significant boost for the Blues as they press for a European and possibly even a Champions League place.
Let’s hope they can acheive European qualification at the end of this season as I think it is probably a minimum requirement to show that real progress is being made. It will certainly be important to the likes of Richarlison.
At any rate, given his ability and how much it would cost to buy a comparable replacement, it is reassuring to hear Ancelotti so confident that Richarlison won’t be leaving Goodison Park on his watch, no matter what the season’s outcome.