Reports are beginning to surface that Everton is near to adding its first new player of the offseason — a young Brazilian winger.
No, not that one.
Instead of Malcom, the Toffees appear to be closing in on adding Richarlison from Watford for an absolutely staggering pricetag.
Matt Barlow of the Daily Mail has the potential deal at £50 million, while Bleacher Report’s Dean Jones goes so far as to report that Richarlison is on his way to Merseyside for a medical — ahead of a “fee in excess of £40 million.”
Richarlison, 21, spent his teenage years with America Mineiro and Fluminense in his native Brazil, before moving to Watford ahead of the 2017-18 season. His attacking prowess was a big part of Watford’s hot start under then-manager Marco Silva — he managed 5 goals and 5 assists from the opening of the season to the end of calendar year 2017.
But, like for much of Watford, things completely dried up for Richarlison in the second half of the season. His final goal of the season came on the way back on November 19, 2017, with his final assist coming on December 12.
He was still a regular started the remainder of the season, but managed to contribute next to nothing for a struggling Watford side.
There are two factors to consider in this potential move.
First, which Richarlison is the real Richarlison? Is he the player who notched 5 goals and 5 assists in three months, or the one who contributed to zero goals for the following five months?
You’d suspect being reunited with Marco Silva would help to improve his form, but there’s certainly a risk that Everton might be committing its future to a player who showed one, non-repeatable flash of brilliance but little else.
Second, the suggested transfer fee is gargantuan, regardless of which report you think has the number right. Last summer, Everton spent a similar fee on Gylfi Sigurdsson, who came to the club with five years of proven Premier League success.
Richarlison can’t even boast five months of Premier League success — yet the club is reportedly willing to pay a similar fee.
His age and the height of his achievements last season make Richarlison a player worth having — one that the RBM staff has had on its radar since Silva took over. But for this fee, we have deep, deep reservations.