The summer transfer window is open, and moves are being made by most teams across England and Europe. Everton, however, are not most teams, and even with the departure of Marcel Brands in January, the transfers have not poured in by any stretch of the imagination; while money and the team’s financial situation play a large part in this of course, there are teams that are certainly interested in some of the team’s premier talent.
Richarlison is atop that list, and Tottenham Hotspur have been persistent in their attempts to purchase the player from Everton; his departure now appears imminent, but he is not the only name linked elsewhere. Allan and Dominic Calvert-Lewin are featured in gossip and rumor pieces across the world, but Richy is certainly the player receiving the most attention of anyone. Antonio Conte would like him, but so would Frank Lampard, and so would all the Blues whose support he has reciprocated with such passion over the years.
While Tottenham are by all accounts better than Everton, Spurs are a club that have much of the swagger of a top-six side, but with hardly any of the achievements or hardware of the others in that conversation. Toffee winger Andros Townsend said it well himself via talkSPORT recently.
“I think you’re being slightly disrespectful by calling Spurs a step up; I think Everton is one of the biggest clubs in England, one of the most historic clubs, one of the biggest fanbases. He’s already a hero at Everton for what he’s done. He’s a fantastic player and towards the end of the season the goals he scored to keep us up.
“We speak about what Frank Lampard did for the team, what the fans did to lift us, but Richarlison came back from injury, scored goals, and kept us up. So he’s already got hero status at the club…and that’s all you’re getting from me!
“I had years of Wilfried Zaha questions [when he played at Crystal Palace and Zaha was widely linked with a move away from the club], so I’m used to it by now!”
Spurs, by neither financial clout nor trophies, are not comparable Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester United, Manchester City, or Liverpool; most importantly, Spurs are not Everton, and Richy can do more, sans Europe or the UCL for now, on Merseyside than in north London.
Everton and Spurs: A Historical and Contemporary Analysis
Again, on the surface, one might imagine that going to north London to play with Tottenham is a big step up in some ways. A better team currently - as per the Premier League tables over the years - Champions League football, Antonio Conte, London, etc; there have certainly been pieces written that make the argument. And yet, all one has to do is look at the historic and modern numbers to see that perception, while on occasion reality, is often somewhat misleading too.
Spurs hold a slight advantage in the head-to-head numbers over time, by a very slim win percentage margin of 52.37% but an appraisal of first-tier footballing numbers spells the truth quite clearly: Everton is a legendary outfit that, even with years of play that have been less than satisfactory, still far outpaces Spurs in matches played in the top tier, goals scored, victories draws and losses.
Tottenham holds a slight edge in total trophies, with 17 to the Toffees 15, but Spurs have won the league at any time period just twice in their long history as opposed to nine times from Everton. Spurs pip the Blues in FA Cups, League Cups, and European titles, but the distance in time from some of these glories could also be examined. Spurs have been the more positive team in recent years there can be little doubt, but are they a bigger team than Everton?
The last time Spurs won a trophy of any kind was, according to the history books, was over 14 years ago when they won the League Cup against Chelsea. Prior to that? Well, the team has never won the Premier League, although they did win the first division last in 1961. Prior to 2008, they had last won something - again, the league cup - nine years prior, and before that? 1991 and the FA Cup win against Nottingham Forest was the fourth FA Cup title that the club had won since that first division title winnings season of 1961.
Everton on the other hand? Well, since the last time that Spurs won the first division, the Toffees won it four times. The Blues have not won a Premier League title either, and the last trophy for the Blues was actually won by Big Dunc in 1995 - some time ago without question. While an argument might be made that Spurs are in better contention more frequently and are always in the hunt in the domestic races, however, they have nothing to show for all of this bluster, as some might argue is the case regarding Everton too, except without as much bluster.
While Everton had a particularly down season this year, the season prior Everton finished just below Spurs by three points and three positions - despite having led them for much of the year. And, if the statistical, contemporary, and historical numbers do not move you, all that must be done is to witness the outpouring of emotion that comes with success at Everton. The night that Goodison Park shook after that marvelous rally against Crystal Palace was breathtaking and, perhaps more than anything else, should have convinced anyone skeptical about being a Blue that this was amongst the best places in the world to play football.
Spurs, for all of their big-spending and jawing, are hardly more historically important or relevant than Everton and have not put together the trophy-winning campaigns even with the better winning numbers in recent years to compellingly make the argument that moving to Spurs is anywhere like moving to any of the other aforementioned, important Premier League outfits; in all actuality, Everton is actually closer to that conversation in many ways, and Richy would be a key piece towards making that vision a reality.
Indeed, for a player linked with Real Madrid — where his former manager Carlo Ancelotti is now back at — and Paris St Germain — with their plethora of superstars — it’s a definite step down for Richarlison instead to choose Tottenham if he has indeed decided to leave Merseyside.
Trust Frank and the Toffees over Conte and Spurs
Frank Lampard has a plan, and it is a better one than Rafa Benitez possessed. With a few sales and some sound investments - from either Farhad Moshiri or the new consortium eyeing the Blues - Everton is more likely to look like the side under Carlo Ancelotti than that which almost fell out of the Premier League, if not for Frank and players like Richy, DCL, Jordan Pickford, Seamus Coleman, Michael Keane, and Mason Holgate.
Keeping Richy and DCL for at least one more season, to show everyone that last season was a flukish year, is imperative, and if after that, the players wish to depart, the team should move them with honor and enthusiasm. But not quite yet, and for Richy, not to Spurs.
The Brazilian is a a footballer first and foremost who wants to play every minute of every game. Making a move to a loaded side like Spurs where he is certainly not assured a starting spot and will become just a rotational piece rather then the demigod he has become with the Toffees could well backfire on him as he looks to secure a starting berth for perennial favorites Brazil in this winter’s World Cup.
There are other teams, if he has to go, that are actually better fits for him, in England and on the Continent; the top spot, in the end, remains at Everton, and the player knows it in his heart, whether or not he decides to make the move regardless.
As it appears he is already departing, it is a shame, but between the money and the perception, Richarlison took the route that he has perceived is best for him. Despite this writer’s feelings on the matter, Richarlison is to be celebrated as a hero of Goodison Park and this club regardless, and we all thank him for his service to the Blue shirt.