Everton have changed their mind and are now going to allow Brazilian forward Richarlison to take part in the Olympics, straight after the Copa America.
This is a bit of a u-turn by Everton who had previously been opposed to Richarlison playing in the Olympic tournament, given he is of course featuring at the moment for Brazil in the Copa America and they look likely to reach the final in that competition.
If Brazil are in that final then it would mean Richarlison has had hardly no time off since last September and a very compressed, demanding last season with often virtually back-to-back games in which he played nearly every Premier League match.
And if he comes back after that he will have very little time to bed in with a new manager, tactics and possibly team-mates before the new Premier League campaign starts.
So why have the Blues allowed him to play in the Olympics as well? And does it mean the club are thinking they might be willing to sell the Brazilian this summer – if a good enough offer comes in for him – and so actually don’t mind him playing in both these summer tournaments?
It seems a decision that could be read several ways. On the one hand you might argue that it’s the simple, opposite reason and is merely a recognition of his determination to play for his country. Perhaps too there is a desire not to give him any more excuse for considering his future at Goodison Park, which he has intimated he would do before now.
I would hope that’s not the case as the club should stand firm if they think it’s not good for the player. After all Everton pay his wages.
It does mean though that given how strong Brazil’s team is likely to be, the South American heavyweights might well reach the Olympic final too.
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If that happens Richarlison might have played all the way through two major international competitions, thousands of miles away and with no time off before the new domestic season begins, which he would be late for anyway.
This wouldn’t exactly be a great way to prepare for another hugely difficult and important Premier League campaign, for him or the team.
Everton have a brand new manager, again, and have just come off yet another mediocre and immensly frustrating season featuring plenty of inconsistent and dreadful performances in which the team ultimately finished tenth.
Those problems and issues would be challenging enough, but in addition of course that new manager is the most controversial choice of all; Rafa Benitez.
He will need all his top players to be at their very best right from the off to help give him the excellent start that he will certainly need.
Pre-season training has begun and the Brazilian is one of those players, so a tired and possibly injured Richarlison isn’t exactly helpful in that regard. But then maybe Everton are reckoning on him not being a Blue be the time the season starts so it won’t matter..?