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Richarlison, Everton's rising NxGn star bringing Samba to Goodison Park

14:00 GMT+3 24/08/2018
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Marco Silva's men were criticised for shelling out around £40m for the former Watford star, but he has already started repaying his sizeable fee

Everton's recent history in the transfer market is checkered at best. Last summer's £150m spending spree brought little return.

This season, majority shareholder Farhad Moshiri was not prepared to give those responsible a second chance and instead opted to bring in Marcel Brands, a man the Iranian coveted before appointing former Leicester City scout Steve Walsh in the summer of 2016.

The 56-year-old arrived in the north west with a glowing reputation, having helped develop Eredivisie clubs RKC Waalwijk, AZ Alkmaar and PSV Eindhoven, but Everton's first signing this summer, Richarlison, led to concerns that the club had learned nothing from their past transfer misdemeanours.

Reports claimed that Marco Silva's side had agreed a deal worth £50m with Watford for the 21-year-old Brazilian, whose form dipped when the Portuguese was relieved of his duties at Vicarage Road, but it eventually became apparent that the move was worth around £40m, with a sizable chunk of that figure made up by potential add-ons.

An eye-watering fee for a player full of potential but one that had failed to find the net in any of his last 15 appearances for the Hornets, Silva and Brands admitted they paid a premium to bring the former Fluminense star to Everton.

But despite the many naysayers, Richarlison has gone some way to repaying the fee and faith shown in him by Silva with two stellar performances for an Everton side rejuvenated by his presence and the Portuguese's methods.

Technically gifted with the pace and skill to torment defenders, what is perhaps most noticeable about Richarlison, apart from his goals, is his willingness to carry out his defensive duties and his enthusiasm to engage in the physical battle. 

Leading Everton's press from the front, the Brazil youth international has already made five clearances, five tackles and three interceptions this season. His commendable work ethic is now being mirrored by his teammates, who adopted a languid and laboured style for the majority of last season, while the profligacy that haunted him at Watford has made way for a calmer approach in front of goal - three goals from four shots this season suggests he has added a cold, clinical nature to his game.

Doubts still linger over Richarlison's consistency, but the Nova Venecia-born supremo has wasted no time in setting lofty ambitions for both himself and the Blues this season.

"I feel more prepared, I already know the rhythm and style of the Premier League, which helps me on the way to the achievements," Richarlison told UOL Esporte. "I want to be the top scorer of the league, take Everton back to the Champions League and therefore reach the Brazilian national team."

Lofty ambitions indeed, but if both Richarlison and Everton can build on the early momentum their performances and new signings have generated, a memorable season awaits for the blue half of Merseyside.