Everton manager Marco Silva has been talking about the striker position at the club for the 2019-20 season, and his latest comments have shed some light on what the composition of the centreforward corps.
The addition of Moise Kean to Dominic Calvert-Lewin in the squad made Cenk Tosun and/or Oumar Niasse disposable at the Blues, and now it looks like it will be the former Senegal international who will be leaving.
In comments to the Liverpool Echo yesterday, the Portuguese manager said -
“Last season we started with Cenk, Dominic, Niasse and Richarlison.
“In this moment we have Cenk, Dominic and Moise Kean for that position and then we have Richarlison playing more out wide. I think it is the position he can perform better in, even if as a striker last season he did very good things for us in some specific games also.
“It is a matter of competition but now, in this moment, we have our three strikers plus Richarlison.”
Silva seemed to confirm that the Blues will be holding on to Tosun despite interest in him from Eintracht Frankfurt, where he began his career. The omission of Niasse from his statement pretty much means the Blues are going to be selling the player before the transfer window closes on continental Europe, with Turkish sides Trabzonspor and Besiktas both in the mix for the player.
Meanwhile the additional note about Richarlison is interesting, as he seemed to struggle playing as striker last season despite scoring against Leicester City, Brighton & Hove Albion and his former side Watford FC.
The Brazilian insists that he wants to play through the middle where he seemed to get swallowed up by big Premier League centrehalves, but the manager has different ideas about what he is best suited for -
“Let’s see during the season, last season I started with the same feeling when I signed Richarlison even if I know he can play in the three positions in the attack line.
“I was thinking more about him on the left or the right – more on the left if I am honest with you – but we adapted him on the right and he did really well and the other winger did well also.
“When he was a striker he scored important goals for us but when we decided to put him as a striker in that period it was possible Dominic and Cenk were not at their best and so I am here to find different solutions but in this moment I am looking at him more as a winger.
“But, I agree with you, we have solutions for that position and all of them are different.”
Silva’s note there about using Richarlison on the left is interesting especially since Alex Iwobi is not just a left winger but quite proficient in playing at the #10 position where he can spell Gylfi Sigurdsson.
All signs however do point towards Everton having multiple quality options at every position on the pitch (apart from centreback), which has been a goal for Silva and Marcel Brands since they took over last summer.