Whether its £35m or £40m, it’s a jaw-dropping amount of money but it's the price of trying to remain competitive at the top end of the Premier League, and in Richarlison, Everton have invested heavily in some excitingly raw potential.
Evertonians might not have expected to have to wait quite so long but the Toffees have finally made their first signing of the summer. Four days after reports broke that they were in talks with Watford over Brazilian forward Richarlison, the 21-year-old has been confirmed as the club’s newest player.
It’s the latest in a transfer window that Everton have made a first-team acquisition since 2011, the year that Mikel Arteta was sold to Arsenal and only Royston Drenthe and Denis Stracqualursi arrived just before the deadline that August, although circumstances are very different this time around.
With new manager, Marco Silva, and Director of Football, Marcel Brands, needing time to run the rule over the squad they inherited from Ronald Koeman, Sam Allardyce and Steve Walsh, plus the World Cup slowing the transfer merry-go-round for a month, it was, perhaps, inevitable that things would take this long to get going in the recruitment department at Finch Farm.
For those who remember that 30 years ago it cost Everton just £2.2m to sign the country’s most prolific goalscorer at the time in the form of Tony Cottee (the striker the club bought last year, Sandro, earns that in about three months at the moment!) the fee is just staggering.
Whether its £35m or £40m, it’s a jaw-dropping amount of money and no matter how mad the market gets, it’s hard to just shrug such massive figures off, particularly when you’re aware of their real-world value. It’s the price of trying to remain competitive at the top end of the Premier League, however, and in Richarlison, Everton have invested heavily in some excitingly raw potential.
They may also have buried in the terms of the deal a measure of financial compensation to Watford to finally settle the dispute between the two clubs over the Blues’ pursuit of Silva last November. It’s almost certain that this transaction will see the threat of legal action evaporate while Everton get a valuable acquisition to their squad for their considerable outlay.
The transfer fee may be rich but the Blues’ first new signing of the summer has the potential to be money very well spent. Unlike Sigurdsson, who was acquired for a similar fee but at the age of 28, he will have sell-on value should the need arise. In the meantime, Silva adds to his squad a potential match-winning asset who still has plenty of room to grow.
Both Milan clubs, Sampdoria, Manchester United and Chelsea were all credited with interest in signing Richarlison before Watford eventually did and his early form for the Hornets suggested that, in persuading him to swerve Ajax last summer, Silva had secured an uncut diamond.
Five goals in 12 games as Watford ascended to the lofty heights of fourth place in the early going last season hinted that, after eight managerial appointments in the space of about a decade, the Hertfordshire club might finally be going places under their promising young manager and his plumb signing.
Ordinarily, a player’s YouTube highlight reel ought to be viewed with a degree of scepticism but Premier League observers got to see Richarlison’s talents first-hand last year. Skillful, powerful and attack-minded, he turned heads in the early weeks of the campaign before both his form and that of the Watford team as a whole, fell off a cliff.
He wouldn’t score another goal for Watford after 19th November, the team would go on an 11-match run without a win, and Silva was sacked in January, to be replaced by Javi Gracia, a manager who has thus far generally failed to get much life out of the team he inherited.
There is no question that Richarlison failed to rediscover the spark that had made him such an exciting prospect just weeks earlier and, as such, a degree of caution is warranted. For a marquee transfer fee, you ideally want a bona fide marquee player. But there is obviously a case to be made for extenuating circumstances — the consequences of a young man playing his first season in a foreign country on the back of a full season in Brazil but in a Watford team that had lost its way and was, now, without the mentor who had brought him to England in the first place. Richarlison might end up being that "marquee" player after all.
It’s perhaps fitting that Silva and Richarlison are reunited at Goodison Park seeking their respective redemption at Everton where the platform to succeed should at least be higher than was the case at Vicarage Road. Certainly, Silva looks likely to be backed by a bigger war chest and there is the nucleus of a very good team there, even if it still needs further strengthening in key areas.
Richarlison is capable playing anywhere across the front three but he has been most effective in England thus far playing wide on the left. In that sense, he will add the attacking zeal of a Yannick Bolasie but promises much more reliable end product. It will also remove any temptation on the manager’s part of repeating the mistake of predecessors in deploying Gylfi Sigurdsson in that ill-suited role.
With Theo Walcott operating on the other flank, Cenk Tosun deployed down the middle and, assuming he stays, Ademola Lookman available as an exciting, dynamic, supplemental option off the bench, Everton might yet be able to compensate for the lack of a genuine play-making No 10 by simply boasting attacking prowess in other areas.
Some important positions still need to be addressed before the transfer window closes in a little over a fortnight’s time but, with their first move, Everton have made a very good, if belated, start to their summer recruitment business.
Reader Comments (66)
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1 Posted 24/07/2018 at 22:32:53
At least Silva has worked with this player. A big bonus as he will have first-hand experience of his character and skills. I read what Silva said he would bring to the team and feel somewhat reasured.
2 Posted 24/07/2018 at 22:35:18
It's clearly over £100,000 and with his form non existent no one will be able to tempt him away unless we pay a large amount of his wage.
I can't believe how much we gave him this time last year... fucking hell.
He and Klaassen have done – very well financially but stunk the place out with football. That's a real shame in so many ways.
3 Posted 24/07/2018 at 23:57:19
However, they have not demanded it, more likely greedy agents, acting in their client's best interests (oh,and their own) so really we should vent our anger at whoever sanctioned it.
4 Posted 25/07/2018 at 00:16:43
Which Fucker thought it was a good idea to give them around a quarter of a million in wages between them each week?
Mr Walsh has his fingerprints all over this one.
5 Posted 25/07/2018 at 02:43:30
He will improve us, no doubt, whether he'll improve us sufficiently to our expectations and desires we can only wait.
The price will always be a controversial matter, but I trust Silva and Brands have gone to get the best we can get – Malcom went to Barca, we never had a chance and probably the Everton story was an agent trick to get other more prominent teams involved – and they obviously see him as the best we can get and got him, no matter the price.
In terms of Sandro's wages, that's just proof that getting 'bargain' fees for players doesn't mean cheaper deals for the club, and if I remember rightly, this time last year we were all going berserk because it seemed we would lose out on Sandro. If we hadn't have signed him, we would have called the club all sorts.
Hindsight. Hopefully Sandro can become a decent winger off the bench if we can't get rid.
6 Posted 25/07/2018 at 02:54:48
I shudder to think what would be happening right now if he were in charge of our summer transfer business.
7 Posted 25/07/2018 at 07:40:10
Let's be excited before we have a genuine reason not to be!
8 Posted 25/07/2018 at 07:54:09
Comparing him to Sigurdsson and saying it's okay because he will have a sell-on value because he's only 21 is hugely misleading. If they both repeated the same form for the next 3 seasons, we would get more back on Sigurdsson despite his age!
On another note, Brands, much lauded but another who, despite talking the talk, has so far only delivered a hugely overpriced player, that everyone knows about and was already managed by Silva!! Good work if you can get it, this “scouting” BS!
We'll be bringing in Moyes by Christmas to get us out of trouble.
9 Posted 25/07/2018 at 08:52:38
10 Posted 25/07/2018 at 09:01:10
11 Posted 25/07/2018 at 09:15:11
Were it not for the way we were burned last summer, we'd be jumping for joy at the thought of splurging millions on a Brazilian forward. To think there was a time not so long ago when I got excited about Simon Davies arriving for a tenth of this deal...
Oh and Les  I think Watford got him on the special dispensation rules, where transfer fees/wages of a certain value are taken into account. Fifa ranking comes into play too, hence why Onyekuru has had to be farmed out on loan.
12 Posted 25/07/2018 at 09:19:58
Couple of points though. Firstly, you say we lack a No 10, but if Sigurdsson is to play, and we shall learn how Silva intends to use him tomorrow night, then surely he's at the attacking tip of a midfield triangle? This is the position Dowell has mainly appeared in.
Sigurdsson would then be protected by a double pivot behind and would have a bit more of a box-to-box role dropping deeper into the midfield line in defence, but getting into the forward line on attacks. Or do you think, like Darren, that Silva won't utilise him here at all?
Something else I think that hasn't been mentioned at all, is that Richarlison's highlight reel is often stop start clips, as defenders continuously foul him to stop him. He wins so many freekicks. And he wins them in dangerous positions.
In Sigurdsson we have a freekick specialist who can whip in a good cross from the positions more outwide, but can be lethal in those positions at the edge of the box. So having someone who can win these freekicks, and give Sigurdsson his opportunity is going to be a big factor for us this coming season.
13 Posted 25/07/2018 at 09:23:22
14 Posted 25/07/2018 at 09:26:59
Even though we managed to employ Fat Sam last year, our output from set pieces has been poor for a few years and something we would do well to work on.
15 Posted 25/07/2018 at 09:27:26
16 Posted 25/07/2018 at 09:29:32
17 Posted 25/07/2018 at 09:32:30
18 Posted 25/07/2018 at 09:45:17
ToffeeWeb was inundated this time last year with posts saying Sandro was useless and what a waste of £5m because his goal scoring record in La Liga didn't justify the fee and he will totally bomb at Everton and be unable to score even one goal in the Premier League.
I only wish Walsh had read ToffeeWeb.
19 Posted 25/07/2018 at 09:53:29
Having watched the pre-season games to date, my concern is three-fold.
I would hate to see us lose Lookman because his potential and experience from which he benefited playing in Germany last season gives us exciting depth up front.
My real concern though is at centre-back and left-back. Holgate needs to play with an experienced and top class left-sided centre-back. In my opinion, Keane doesn't cut the mustard.
Leighton needs serious help if not replacement, although to be fair to him, he has actually looked okay so far. However, I doubt if he has a season in him of getting up and down that left flank, a la Coleman on the other side.
20 Posted 25/07/2018 at 10:11:24
I can't accept that we have to put the costs down to today's current market value. No other club would have been mug enough to pay £45M for either one of them.
Other clubs are beginning to see us coming...
21 Posted 25/07/2018 at 10:33:14
Hopefully Richarlison hits the heights, he's obviously got ability but for that price he needs to really hit the ground running next season doesn't he?
Correct me if I'm mistaken but we paid £45 million for Sigurdsson and he scored 4 goals in the league? That's not what you really want for £45 million.
Richarlison scored 5 goals for Watford last term and whilst he's young, we want more than 5 goals and more assists next season for £50 million's worth.
I think he's got the ability to be a really good player and he was always one that caught my eye when watching the highlights on Match of the Day last season. I did cast an envied eye at how Watford got him and was cursing Steve Walsh (super scout, my arse).
I hope it works out for him and more importantly at £50 million, for us!
22 Posted 25/07/2018 at 10:33:20
Lookman has that dribbling ability, with excellent acceleration. Compared to Richarlison, I think Lookman would win over 5 yards, but I think Lookman would be beaten over 20 yards. In the longer sprints, Lookman just isn't as quick.
Lookman has lovely control, can dribble all day long and can waltz past players. All of his goals are tap-ins though. He can't shoot from outside the box. His shot lacks power, and he never seems to thump it high into the back of the net, and I have never seen him smash it over the bar, as he just seems to lack that power in his shot.
He seems better than Richarlison with his awareness of others though. His passing can be a bit hit and miss, but he is clearly capable of playing others through.
I'm quite unsure on the lad, on current ability, and then working out how good he is now, and how he can get better, and how much better he can get. Whatever happens with him, I think he needs to stay with us, and I'll be gutted if he leaves.
Silva will lose a lot of good faith if he spends £35m-50m on Richarlison and then lets Lookman leave for less than £20m. To me, that's just madness.
I just wrote about the left-back situation on the Digne thread.
Centre-back is very concerning. Last season Keane, being the big money signing and at a good age, was supposed to come in and over the year establish himself as our best centre-back. Had he done so, then Holgate could come through now and claim the other slot alongside him. Then we'd have Jagielka's experience on the bench and you could dip into the youth team for a fourth choice centre-back, such as Feeney.
Keane hasn't done what was expected of him. I don't think he is shite; he looked good for England; he looked very good for Burnley. If we could offload him, I'd do it. The plan would then need to be to play Jagielka for his experience and leadership (although he is not the most vocal) with a new addition alongside, such as Mina. Then hope that that player can quickly establish himself and then allow Holgate to come through. If Silva was very bold, he'd just go Jagielka and Holgate immediately and then let Holgate establish himself before bringing in a new partner for him.
Of course, Silva could just play a new guy and Holgate and try to make it work. That to me seems to be the hardest thing to do, and as Jagielka still has his pace, I would utilise him as much as possible to provide stability in the middle and allow either a new player or Holgate to establish themselves alongside him before bringing in another the following season. It is definitely a problem position.
23 Posted 25/07/2018 at 10:35:13
24 Posted 25/07/2018 at 10:53:22
Lookman had a good season in the Bundesliga which is also a tough league and he should be up to snuff experience wise. However, players are also expected to put in a shift defensively these days and that means other players like Walcott have to track back and make a few tackles.
The game has become more like basketball whereby when you concede possession it's all hands to the pump behind the ball. It would be really nice to see if Lookman gets a start as he has bags of skill.
25 Posted 25/07/2018 at 11:17:51
Tom (#24), I like the basketball analogy, there's a lot of truth in that. Maybe they should attach a basketball hoop over the centre of the goal, if you chip it in, you get 5 goals. You could still win the match then, when losing 4-0 in injury time.
26 Posted 25/07/2018 at 11:27:47
27 Posted 25/07/2018 at 11:58:20
The fee will always be a bone of contention and for good reason.
Some fans claim they don't understand the issue as 'snot my money' etc. However, we are clearly working to a budget and with so many players required in so many positions it doesn't behove us to spunk the lion's share of the budget on single players.
Then there is the whole issue of resale, if it doesn't work out, as we are seeing with Klaassen and probably Bolasie to follow.
Thirdly, we have just inflated Watford's warchest for them to go and find the next few £11m Richarlisons.
But all that aside, there is much to like about the kid and I'm confident he will improve the team and certainly add to the entertainment as part of a front 3, one would think.
Moreover, Silva knows him and he knows Silva so he shouldn't require an age to adapt to the system.
28 Posted 25/07/2018 at 12:03:57
"All of his goals are tap-ins though. He can't shoot from outside the box."
Lookman only scored two goals for us last season, in the same game. The first a decent diving header (no tap-in) and the second from outside the box.
29 Posted 25/07/2018 at 12:33:28
Sure, Richarlison may come good and be worth way more than we paid for him. But so might Lookman and I do not see there is much case for saying the latter is more unlikely than the former.
For me, they key is that I have not seen output from Richarlison that can explain a leap in fee from £11M – a level on which you can afford to take a punt – to £40M or whatever the fee is.
Our budget is definitely finite, contrary to what others might claim. What concerns me most if that our two biggest signings, Sigurdsson and this guy, did not appear to have a queue of suitors whom we had to outbid. There was some reported interest in the latter from Chelsea and Man Utd but no bid as I understand it. I don't think that gave Watford a good negotiating position, especially given I would not have had Richarlison's position as the most pressing to fill. I could see much more of a case for a left-back, a decent centre-back and someone in midfield who knows how to pass. And that's leaving out a proven goalscorer, given they are v difficult to source.
Still, he's here, let's hope he turns out better than Siggy has so far. At least we won't have to play/waste the latter on the left wing anymore...
30 Posted 25/07/2018 at 13:08:43
My point on Lookman was more to do with the experience he will have gained playing in Germany. I would hope and expect he has returned a better player for the coaching and experience of playing in a top league (as against playing in the Championship). For this reason, coupled with his obvious potential, I would hate to see him leave.
I think you make a good point about the funds it cost to bring in Richarlison and the funds we would probably receive for Lookman should he leave. The gap I suspect would be unacceptable to most fans, especially here on TW.
31 Posted 25/07/2018 at 13:14:07
An issue I had with Jeffers, even when he was scoring and looking great, was that there was no power in his shots. And Lookman seems similarly to lack power, to be incapable of thumping it from 30 yards.
I hope I'm wrong and he goes and smashes a 30-yard screamer in the next game (Blackburn tomorrow night)!
32 Posted 25/07/2018 at 13:50:07
Rather like Gylfy's signing, concern again centres on Moshiri's apparent readiness to lob out huge sums even when not pushed to do so by other bidders.
Just how quickly TV's generosity to the game has escalated transfer fees can be seen in the fact that more than £80 M has been gambled on just two players in contrast to Moyes's 11-year total spend of c£130M.
The saying 'Going to hell in a handcart' springs to mind!
33 Posted 25/07/2018 at 14:01:27
Phil (#18), I think most on here at this time last year were glad to have signed Sandro for £5M after outscoring Neymar in La Liga with 14 goals for a struggling team. He didn't travel well but you can't blame Walsh. It looked good business on the information available.
34 Posted 25/07/2018 at 14:06:27
35 Posted 25/07/2018 at 14:25:56
Our up-front movement and attacking runs from midfield have been so poor for a long time now, so having Lookman and Richarlison also should be a major improvement. Two new signings!
36 Posted 25/07/2018 at 14:34:33
37 Posted 25/07/2018 at 15:29:31
38 Posted 25/07/2018 at 15:45:56
I don't want Lookman to leave, he is one of the few who goes forward with purpose.
I am not even sure Richarlison will improve us without signing others in key positions.
39 Posted 25/07/2018 at 16:07:03
Swansea, Burnely & Palace last year and Watford this are doing exactly what we did under Moyes.
The focus should be less about the money and more about the fact we (extensively?!) scouted and bought poor players is more the issue.
The cost is the symptom not the cause surely?
41 Posted 25/07/2018 at 16:42:26
Think there may also be the odd video of him in training giving it a wallop.
42 Posted 25/07/2018 at 16:58:08
Not just because it is from distance, it is a screamer.
43 Posted 25/07/2018 at 16:58:40
It's mind boggling stuff. The stakes are really high. Silva, who has repeatedly cut and run, will finally have to demonstrate his cojones. I hope Steve Ferns is right; he certainly won't have much time to show his stuff. If it goes bad it will be toxic at Goodison almost straightaway.
44 Posted 25/07/2018 at 17:03:31
Things are looking up, with Brands off shopping to Barcelona as well..
45 Posted 25/07/2018 at 17:09:03
46 Posted 25/07/2018 at 17:17:22
A goal is a goal, I'll take them all day long thanks as long as they go in.
47 Posted 25/07/2018 at 17:17:47
48 Posted 25/07/2018 at 17:27:58
"We need to be ready for the big challenges, the big goals, we have to be this angry, aggressive greedy team full of desire that wants to win each game."
Hopefully Silva can get a similar attitude throughout our club, even if it may go against the grain with some fans.
It would be nice to see Everton display characteristics that we aren't used to seeing on a regular basis.
If you can't beat them (which our record against the top six proves), join them.
49 Posted 25/07/2018 at 17:45:09
50 Posted 25/07/2018 at 18:45:40
I hope Mola stays, as my gut instinct tells me Theo, will be injured more than he plays, I hope Im wrong.
Great opportunity but a very difficult one for MS to forge a new spine and comradre in this squad. Lets hope so.
51 Posted 25/07/2018 at 20:05:57
52 Posted 25/07/2018 at 20:20:58
Have to say if we get £25m plus addons for Lookman I'll eat my hat.
Bearing in mind I have a head.like a thirty bob cabbage that's some amount of hat I'll have to eat!
53 Posted 25/07/2018 at 20:22:47
I hope your wrong about Lookman, you cant let young talent slip through your fingers. This is what happens when you let Allardyce into your club, he wouldn't play the lad preferring an unfit Bolasie. Then he wanted him to go to Derby, which Lookman refused and got his own deal with Leipzig. It didnt take him long to impress a team who qualified for the Champions league.
I see our former comms director Alan Myers has said both Silva and Brands want Lookman to stay, and he believes he will stay. But you can see why Leipzig keep upping the offer. My only concern was that he didnt travel to Portugal for the 2 friendlies, was it a genuine injury or is there more to it, I hope not. I would love to see Lookman,Richarlison and Walcott be our front 3 against Wolves.
54 Posted 25/07/2018 at 20:41:07
There have been many Brazilian players who have done excellent so I completely disagree with the premise of your point.
I seem to remember a little Brazilian for the RS terrorising Everton with his skill and vision until sold to Barca for £100m+.
Fernandinho, Willian and Firmino don't do bad either.
55 Posted 25/07/2018 at 21:00:16
I am pleased we have signed Richarlison as he seems to track back which will help are fullbacks a lot, the times last season they were left exposed with 2 and 3 men to deal with was a huge concern.
He has been signed mainly for his attacking play but his work ethic and willingness to help out defending will also add something all being well.
56 Posted 25/07/2018 at 21:22:01
57 Posted 25/07/2018 at 00:03:05
Walcott will not play a full season; we will need Ademola Lookman.
Mr Brands should concentrate on moving on those players and keeping our young talent, of which Lookman is the best.
58 Posted 26/07/2018 at 09:25:03
61 Posted 26/07/2018 at 13:53:17
The last time I licked my lips in anticipation was in Martinez first season, when I had a feeling Lukaku would tear Arsenal a new one.
62 Posted 26/07/2018 at 14:35:55
According to various reports in the media today, Watford intend to stand by their claim for compensation regarding Silva. Therefore Lyndon, could you please clarify for us the reasons, or sources, that prompted you to give credence to this particular rumour?
63 Posted 26/07/2018 at 15:24:04
After what happened with Barkley, the fact we've spent two hundred million quid and we are still nowhere, and the ridiculous contracts and wages we hand out - it's fair to say this football club is viewed as a soft touch.
Watford wanting a further top up just shows how the football world sees Everton right now. Gobshite FC.
64 Posted 26/07/2018 at 19:15:53
There are just too many things that simply do not add up and that's why I believe that the people still running our club have no competence whatsoever.
Also, please don't anyone tell me that 'its a new regime', 'its early days', 'we have to give them a chance,' because it's been going on for years before the arrival of Moshiri and, thus far, the man himself seems to be perpetuating previous administrations' shoddy unprofessionalism. With the added 'sting-in-the-tail' that wasting more money doesn't really matter.
65 Posted 26/07/2018 at 19:20:33
They want to try to make an example of Everton for what they claim to have telling proof of, namely an illegal approach for their manager.
Whatever Everton's punishment, should the club be found guilty, it will not include any form of compensation to Watford.
66 Posted 26/07/2018 at 19:36:53
67 Posted 26/07/2018 at 19:39:50
68 Posted 01/08/2018 at 04:28:55
69 Posted 05/08/2018 at 22:18:21
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