Transfer Talk: Where next for Everton star Richarlison?
Richarlison’s fine late-season form helped fire Everton to Premier League safety — but the Brazilian may now be destined for greater things.
The 25-year-old forward stood up when the troubled Toffees needed him most by netting six goals in his final nine outings this term.
A cult hero on the blue half of Merseyside, he now faces the tough decision of whether to stay put next season or pursue his long-standing dream of playing for one of Europe’s biggest clubs.
We assess the Everton No7’s options.
Since arriving from Watford in July 2018 for a fee of £50million, Richarlison has struck up an incredibly strong bond with his current club’s supporters.
Evertonians have taken his passionate and aggressive playing style straight to their hearts, with the forward frequently riling up opposition supporters in the process.
His shows of affection, often kissing the badge after netting, suggest he would love nothing more than to bring success to Goodison Park.
However, it has been a season of turmoil which almost resulted in an unthinkable relegation — and the Brazil ace will not want to suffer a similar fate in 2022-23.
For all of Farhad Moshiri’s spending, a top-six finish currently feels further away than ever and star players like Richarlison may not be willing to wait around any longer.
Gunner in waiting
If European football is a decisive factor in the Brazilian’s next destination, a move to Arsenal would make plenty of sense.
Despite agonisingly missing out on Champions League football, the Gunners will be among the favourites for Europa League glory next season and desperately need attacking reinforcements.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang traded North London for Barcelona permanently in January, while Alexandre Lacazette is also expected to exit the Emirates when his contract expires next month.
Mikel Arteta has made no secret of his desire to bring in fresh faces up front and recent reports suggest Richarlison has been shortlisted among their top targets.
Victor Osimhen, Tammy Abraham, Alvaro Morata and Gabriel Jesus have also been linked in recent days but the Everton man may well be the most logical acquisition of the bunch.
Richarlison has been quoted in the past saying his dream is to play for titles, so perhaps he should be setting sail for Real Madrid or Barcelona.
At the Bernabeu, he would be linking up with former Toffees boss Carlo Ancelotti and joining a club where silverware is near-guaranteed every season.
Furthermore, Los Blancos are likely to be keen on adding a wide forward to their ranks after publicly missing out on long-term target Kylian Mbappe earlier this month.
Meanwhile, Xavi is spearheading a new dawn in Catalonia and will be determined to add further quality to his squad this summer to help make Barca genuine title contenders again.
The Blaugrana have been linked with Richarlison previously and would be certain to take an interest if he does express a desire to move.
Red Devils revolution
While the Brazilian may not be assured of starting berths at either of the LaLiga giants, he would surely play a leading role in Erik ten Hag’s new-look Manchester United side.
The Red Devils barely scrambled into next season’s Europa League after a dire campaign and incoming boss Ten Hag has much work to do in the coming years to try and restore former glories at Old Trafford.
In terms of potential targets, most speculation has circulated around players the Dutchman has worked with previously — but adding proven Premier League quality appears even more vital.
Though Cristiano Ronaldo registered an impressive 24 goals in all competitions leading the line this term, no wide forward managed more than six strikes.
Richarlison has reached double figures in each of his four seasons at Goodison Park and would certainly ease the burden on United’s talisman in terms of conversion.