Football News

Tottenham confirm “stroke of genius” Richarlison transfer deal despite Chelsea’s ‘hijack’ attempts

By Ben Green

Published: 10:30, 1 July 2022

Tottenham Hotspur have completed the signing of Brazilian forward Richarlison from fellow Premier League club Everton for a reported fee of £60million.

The fee would make him Spurs’ most expensive signing ever.

The 25-year-old becomes the fourth acquisition of Antonio Conte this summer following the arrivals of Ivan Perisic and Fraser Forster on a free, as well as the £25m capture of Yves Bissouma from Brighton.

It is thought that Everton needed to generate funds before the end of their financial year (midnight on Friday) in order to adhere to the Premier League’s Profit and Sustainability rules — and Spurs have capitalised on the situation.

Former Tottenham goalkeeper Paul Robinson recently told Football Insider: “If Spurs could pull off that deal it would be a good one. He can play wide or through the middle as an out and out number nine. He can do both extremely well. It would be a stroke of genius if Spurs can get that deal done.

“Yes, they would have to pay upwards of £50million for him but I think he’s worth it.”

With the start of the 2022/23 Premier League season a little over a month away, owing to the opening weekend being brought forward to accommodate November’s pause for this year’s winter world Cup, Spurs have wasted little time in assembling their squad.

Conte guided Spurs to a top-four finish last season, securing Champions League football in the process, and he has certainly been backed in these early stages of the summer transfer window, with more deals expected to go through.

Richarlison leaves Goodison Park four years after arriving from Watford in 2018, during which time the 36-capped Brazil international has scored 53 goals in 152 games, finishing as the Toffees’ top scorer last campaign as they just staved off the threat of relegation.

Since Richarlison joined Everton, only three players have made 200+ tackles and completed 200+ take-ons in the Premier League. Richarlison (208 tackles and 200 take-ons), Dwight McNeil (208, 261) and Mateo Kovačić (205, 210).

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From slogging it out in the division’s lower-table backwaters, Richarlison will now be taking his final-third exploits to the game’s richest tournament, the Champions League, having not yet had a taste of midweek European football since arriving in England from Fluminense.

It was revealed by transfer reporter Fabrizio Romano that Chelsea made an eleventh hour attempt to “hijack” Tottenham’s advances for the Everton man, but Spurs chairman Daniel Levy has ultimately won out in this transfer foot race to bolster Conte’s squad ahead of what could be a club-defining season.

This follows comments made on Thursday afternoon by former Premier League manager Neil Warnock, who says Conte has made Tottenham a more attractive club than local rivals Arsenal.

“As a player, I would say Spurs are more attractive a club to join than Arsenal,” he wrote on Twitter.

“There’s a lack of leaders at both clubs and neither can guarantee trophies. The difference is Conte, who gives Spurs that edge, real leadership and he is a born winner.”