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When Watford announced the signature of Brazilian attacker Richarlison from Brazilian side Fluminense, for a fee of £11.5million, he was pretty much an unknown quantity in the English footballing fraternity. However, it hasn’t taken long for the 20-year old to announce himself in the Premier League.
Richarlison made his debut for the Hornets in the season opener against Liverpool, coming on as a substitute and making a telling contribution late in the game, helping his club earn a 3-3 draw. Following this, manager Marco Silva decided to hand the Brazilian youngster his full debut last weekend, against Bournemouth, and Richarlison made the chance count in a big way.
The 20-year old opened the scoring for Watford in the game, as they went on to defeat the Cherries 2-0, becoming the first-ever Brazilian to score a goal for the Hornets. But, it was not just the goal that caught the eye of the fans. The way the youngster tormented the experienced Bournemouth right-back Adam Smith was sign enough that he is a special player in the making.
The way Richarlison flicked the ball over Smith’s head nonchalantly in the first-half, before nutmegging him and once again getting the better off the Englishman with some eye-catching foot-work to tee up fellow new signing Andre Gray were enough to convince that the forward can be the X-Factor for Watford going forward this season. The 20-year old created 4 clear-cut chances in the game against Bournemouth and won two of his three take-on attempts, causing all sorts of trouble to Eddie Howe’s side.
Richarlison made his name back in his native Brazil with his blistering pace and the skills with the ball at his feet. He has never been a prolific goal-scorer, although he did improve this year, scoring 7 times and assisting 3 more in 18 games for Fluminense, before making the move.
Apart from the lack of accuracy in front of goal he tends to show at times, his innate abilities are there for everyone to see. Fast, skilled with the ball, strong in the air and extremely intelligent with his movement off the ball, the 20-year old has displayed all the makings of a very good player.
Despite having played just a little over 100 minutes with fellow summer arrival Gray, the two seem to have struck up a good partnership already. If they manage to build on it in the coming weeks, Watford could prove to be a difficult proposition to tame while going forward.
If his first two games in the colours of Watford are anything to go by, Silva and the Hornets may have a gem at their disposal, who could go onto surprise everyone in the Premier League this season.