Richarlison: Marco Silva is a Great Coach ... he Will Win Things at Everton

Richarlison: Marco Silva is a Great Coach ... he Will Win Things at Everton

Wednesday, 15 August, 2018 - 07:00
Everton’s Richarlison. (Getty Images)
London – Andy Hunter
As the first signing of the Marco Silva/Marcel Brands era, and the second most expensive in Everton’s history, there is acute pressure on Richarlison to not only justify a £40m transfer fee but also show lessons have been learned from last year’s costly mistakes at Goodison Park. It is a pressure that washes over the 21-year-old Brazilian.

“I am relaxed about the transfer fee, I think Watford did a good piece of business,” Richarlison says. “They got the price they wanted and I thank God I’m at Everton. I am aiming high. I want to achieve a lot here, make history here and make a name for myself at Everton. I am a calm person and I know my responsibilities. I will show it on the field.”

Everton need him to. Ultimately it is the business sense of their new manager and the director of football that will be under scrutiny having paid £40m for a player Watford acquired for £11.5m exactly a year ago. Two others who Richarlison is in contact with, a fellow Brazilian Bernard and the Colombia defender Yerry Mina, could join him at Everton before last week’s transfer deadline.

Silva was instrumental in Richarlison’s arrival at Vicarage Road, convincing the winger to spurn Ajax’s advances and further his development in the Premier League instead. The opportunity was too good to ignore. Richarlison grew up watching the Premier League on ESPN Brazil with his father, who was convinced his son was suited to the English game. A former Manchester United forward named Cristiano Ronaldo was “the major influence” on a fledgling career that soon attracted the scouts of América Mineiro and, in turn, Fluminense.

Richarlison quickly validated Silva’s confidence at Watford with five goals and four assists in his first 12 league games. Then came the downturn – for player, manager and club alike – with Watford claiming to this day that an unwarranted approach from Everton for Silva in the aftermath of Ronald Koeman’s dismissal sparked a deterioration in their former manager’s focus. Silva was sacked in January following a run of one win in 11 games. After his explosive start Richarlison did not score again in 28 matches in all competitions. It would be easy for a young player to pin the blame on managerial upheaval, but Richarlison, to his credit, does not take the easy line.

He says: “I think it is normal really. Unfortunately there was a decline but there wasn’t just a decline with me. We started the season brilliantly, we got up to fourth place but we had a small squad and unfortunately that was reduced with injuries and there was a decline in the whole team. I’m really happy with my first season in the Premier League, I played 38 games and managed to stay injury free.

“There was some difficulty when Marco left but that was more to do with the language. [Heurelho] Gomes was still there [though]. It’s not an excuse, any decline in performance wasn’t to do with Marco Silva leaving. It wasn’t just my decline, it was an overall team decline. I continued giving everything, putting my life on the line on the pitch and that is what I will continue doing going forward.”

In Silva, however, the Brazilian – who has impressed during a difficult pre-season for Everton – believes he is reunited with one of the brightest talents in the game. “If he’s not already one of the best coaches in the world he will go on to become one,” Richarlison insists. “I think he will win titles with Everton and, who knows, maybe a national team in the future. He is a great coach and I understand him. Whenever I want more information about something I can do better, I will go to his office. We have this dialogue and that helps me on the pitch.”

Richarlison’s childhood was spent in Nova Venécia and he was determined to help his hometown once he made it professionally. He delivered on that promise this summer. “I organized a charity game in my hometown and we collected three tons of food for the people of the town,” he explains. “I would like to be a role model and continuing to help those in need. With my agent, Ronato Velasco, and his son Luciano, I got together my childhood friends and my family to organize the game.

“The price of the ticket was one kilo of foodstuffs and happily we collected three tons which we distributed to those in need. I feel proud of what we achieved. I hadn’t been home properly for ages. When I had visited in recent years it was only for one day here and there. This time I managed to stay there for a full week and we were able to help a lot of people.”

Richarlison’s aim this season is to return to Brazil at the invitation of the national team coach, Tite. He adds: “Everton didn’t have a great season last year but finished in eighth and this season we hope to be higher up. Last season Tite was watching me so this season I hope to have a great season and be called up to the national team.”

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