According to the latest reports from the Mirror, Barcelona are considering a shock swoop for Everton’s Brazilian forward Richarlison. Marco Silva brought the former Watford player in the summer of 2018 for a whopping price of £50m. The 21-year-old has enjoyed a decent first campaign at the Goodison Park as he is the current joint top scorer with Gylfi Sigurdsson as both of them have 13 goals to their name this season.
It is believed that Eric Abidal, Barcelona’s footballing director, is in the market for a forward who can take some goalscoring burden off Luis Suarez. They considered targets like Eintracht Frankfurt’s Luka Jovic, Manchester United’s Marcus Rashford and AC Milan’s Krzysztof Piatek, but all of them seem to be out of bounds at the moment.
What should the player do?
The Toffees have Richarlison contracted until 2023 so even if Barcelona come in hard for their star forward, Marco Silva should be in a strong position to negotiate. It is often tough to keep hold of players when a club like Barcelona comes to the picture, but if Richarlison wants to continue his development, then he should stick with Everton for another season atleast.
At Barcelona, he is going to struggle for game time with the heavyweight players they have in their ranks. We had seen how a player of Philippe Coutinho’s stature struggle to establish himself at the Camp Nou even though he was known as one of the best talents of the Premier League when he was with Liverpool.
Chances of Silva keeping hold of him?
A chance to play in the Champions League could be tempting for the Brazilian, and in that case, the Toffees cannot do much. Moreover, we have also seen South American players being lured by Barcelona. With Luis Suarez now 32, the forward might think that he can fight for his place with the ageing Uruguayan star. Plus, Richarlison is versatile enough to play in other areas as well in the attacking third.
Richarlison is still just 21 and has thrived in the Premier League ever since he started playing for Watford. His pace, physicality and intensity make him a proper asset. The only thing he needs to improve on is his consistency which would hopefully come with more experience.
If Barcelona becomes keen on the player, then the Merseyside club is likely to find it hard to keep hold of him. However, the Toffees should be able to negotiate a reasonable price for him after his impressive season for them. That way Silva can look for a capable replacement in the transfer market.