If you haven’t been paying a lot of attention to the Premier League beyond Tottenham Hotspur (and honestly, fair!), Everton are a hot mess. Like, a big and ugly, could possibly be relegated for the first time in Premier League history mess. Not only are they struggling under Frank Lampard, but they’re in pretty significant financial peril as well after spending like drunken sailors for a couple of years. Everton spent over £100m on transfers in 2019-20 and £80m in 2020-21, are in pretty significant debt, are trying to finance a new stadium, and a relegation could potentially send them down into a Sunderland-like spiral.
I feel sorry for Dele. But that’s not why we’re here.
There’s a new report out in Brazilian sports media outlet UOL that states Everton and Brazil attacker Richarlison is looking to leave the club this summer, but wants to stay in the Premier League. Tottenham Hotspur is one of the clubs that has made enquiries about him, along with Manchester United and Newcastle. The report claims that Everton would ask €80m (£67m) for his services.
Richarlison is 24 and for a while there was looking like one of the better young attackers in the Premier League. He was Everton’s co-leading scorer in 2019-20 with 15 goals, and second leading scorer behind Dominic Calvert-Lewin the following year, but unsuccessfully tried to force his way out of Merseyside this past summer and has seen his goal output decline along with the rest of Everton’s fortunes this season. It’s quite possible that he could try to leave again even if Everton survives the drop.
Frank Lampard has mostly deployed Richarlison as a left sided wide attacker in a 4-3-3 this season, which would make him rotation for and competition with Son Heung-Min. I’m not completely sold on Richarlison, to be honest — Everton are tragically bad this season and I’m sure he’d perform better surrounded by better players and in the right system, but it’s not clear to me that he’d be a slam dunk plus add.
Not only that, but the £67m fee reported is wild, and probably way WAY more than he ends up going for, especially if Everton go down. It’d be pretty incredible if Richarlison doesn’t have a relegation clause that gets him the heck out of dodge for a reasonable fee, and if he doesn’t there’s no reason any club would want to pay Everton’s asking price knowing they’d be playing in the Championship next season.
But the real reason I’m chuckling to myself about this rumor is that I’m pretty sure this hypothetical transfer wouldn’t go down too well with Cuti Romero. It’s pretty well known by now that Romero and Richarlison haaaaaaaaaaate each other, probably stemming back to the Argentina-Brazil international matches, but that animosity has carried over into the Premier League as well. It wasn’t that long ago, during Spurs’ 5-0 dismantling of Everton, that Cuti put in an orange-plus card worthy tackle on Richarlison that somehow only earned him a yellow card, and then afterwords banterrifically posted the photo on Instagram.
I don’t know. The rumor isn’t very solid at this point, but I can absolutely see Fabio Paratici making a cheeky inquiry about Everton’s best talent in the event the worst actually does happen. If the price is right, I wouldn’t hate it, I guess? That said, I think it’s more likely that Newcastle overpays for Richarlison, or he ends up sitting the bench at United. I’d rather see Spurs go after Calvert-Lewin, anyway.