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Ancelotti defends Richarlison despite rumours of rift

Tabloids have been quick to make a meal of the player’s poor current form

Leeds United v Everton - Premier League Photo by Paul Greenwood - CameraSport via Getty Images

It’s no exaggeration to say that Richarlison is having quite a miserable season so far. While his underlying metrics for the last three seasons have remained quite similar (xG+xA: 0.44, 0.48 and 0.45 this campaign), the big difference has been with goals scored. His finishing touch seems to have deserted him in his time of need and now the tabloid media is feasting on that scarcity of goals claiming that there is a rift between the player and manager Carlo Ancelotti.

As Everton fans know only too well, the Brazilian forward is a mercurial personality. He often appears moody and unhappy on the pitch until he gets in among the goals and then magically he is all smiles. The Mirror, for one, quickly decided that when he was taken off for Michael Keane by Ancelotti with the Blues defending a one-goal lead late on at Leeds United, that this was a sign of a rift between the pair.

The veteran Italian manager was quick to correct the record on this though.

“Richarlison is OK, he’s not in his best moment but we still have confidence.

“It’s true that he has not scored a lot of goals. It’s true that he’s unhappy with this but he’s young, he’s a striker and he wants to score goals.

“I was not happy with him against Newcastle because I think he could work more. Against Leeds he did fantastic defensive work and I was pleased with that performance.”

Point to be noted here was that after that infuriating loss at home to Newcastle, Ancelotti criticized the whole Everton team for being lazy and slow.

“I took Richarlison off not for tactical reasons but to put fresh legs on at the end. He understood this.

“He’s in the right way. I don’t know if it is against Manchester United or the game after he will be at 100 per cent.”

Anyone following the team even marginally would know that the veteran Italian manager has consistently commended his side’s spirit, so these frivolous rumours of a rift between him and one of his best players appear to be tabloid fodder and should be ignored.