Everton: Rafa Benitez hints at striker selection as Richarlison suspended for Brentford game

Everton (Photo by Chris Brunskill/Fantasista/Getty Images)
Everton (Photo by Chris Brunskill/Fantasista/Getty Images) /

Richarlison has been an enigmatic presence ever since he signed for Everton from Watford in 2018. He made giant leaps even while being in the embryonic stages of the Everton careers and soon became a fan favourite.

Into his fourth season, the Brazilian is one of the best footballers at the club and easily one of the first names on the team sheets. In Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s absence, Richarlison has had to shoulder the responsibility of being the prime goalscorer but the Brazilian has struggled, much of an embodiment of the entire team.

Last week, Everton faced Manchester City and were punished for a spineless performance as the Premier League Champions put three past the Toffees. Rafa Benitez took a pragmatic approach which meant his side defended deep and hardly controlled the possession. With Richarlison up top, his job was to win the long balls and launch forward.

With City dominating possession, the Brazilian was starved of any service or hardly had any meaningful touches on the ball. Goalscoring chances were bare minimum which saw the forward get increasingly frustrated. Exasperated, Richarlison committed a foul for which he received a yellow card, taking his season tally to five and earning him a one match suspension.

Everton manager Rafa Benitez speaks on Richarlison discipline and hints at striker selection

Richarlison will miss the trip to Brentford, leaving Everton with slim options for the attack. Ahead of the game, Rafa Benitez spoke to the media and addressed the situation of Richarlison and pressed that the 24 year old has to learn to stay calm in such situations.

"I think he knows that it’s too early to have five yellow cards, everybody knows that it’s like that. He cannot react sometimes and he has to stay more calm during the game. Sometimes his frustration, if they don’t give a foul, his reaction is out of control.He has to be more aware of that and, after, focus on the game. He’s a very good player and he can be an important player for us. He can be a threat for defenders if he can stay focused. (via Liverpool ECHO)"

With Richarlison out of the Brentford clash, Benitez will have to make a decision over who starts as the striker. Salomon Rondon is yet to score and has struggled to make an impact and get up to pace with the Premier League. Cenk Tosun has also recently returned from a long term injury and has been training with the group.

Youngsters Lewis Dobbin and Ellis Simms could also feature. Dobbin was excellent against Brighton U-23, easily the best player on the pitch by a country mile and even grabbed a goal to round off a fantastic display. Benitez also hinted at who might start in absence of Richarlison.

"At the moment we have two experienced players, Tosun and Rondon, available – and a young player that was injured and is coming back in Simms. Normally in these kind of games, it’s games for people with experience. The senior players have more chances to be ahead of Simms, the young player."

With Tosun coming back from a long term injury, it seems Rondon is set to start against Brentford with Tosun playing some part of the game.

Next. Everton Injury update: Demarai Gray update and Abdoulaye Doucoure boost ahead of Brentford game. dark

Should the youngsters get a chance over Rondon and Tosun?