Silva On Richarlison | “A Huge Talent, An Amazing Boy”
So much for a settling-in period.
Richarlison was supposed to need a spell of acclimatisation, a period where we cut him a bit of slack after being plucked from Fluminense and parachuted into the unforgiving world of the Premier League well before his 21st birthday, but he's made a mockery of that.
He's taken to English football and life like a duck to water, quickly establishing himself as the new darling of Vicarage Road. His goals are what will make people sit up and take notice of this brilliant 20-year-old, but it's his sense of theatre, his penchant for late drama that has been extraordinary.
He played a part in Miguel Britos' last-gasp equaliser against Liverpool, crashed home the winner against Swansea in-off the underside of the crossbar and now, thrillingly, rose majestically to head in a leveller against West Brom that felt like a winner. The Baggies are supposed to be the king of set-pieces but they just couldn't handle Richarlison in the air.
He's a quick learner too, avoiding a caution by keeping his shirt on this time, well at least until the end of the game when he was first over the advertising hoardings to hand it to one lucky fan.
"He's a huge talent, an amazing boy," said Head Coach Marco Silva, who isn't going to tire of talking about the Brazilian whizz-kid if he keeps playing like this. "He's a worker. Every day he comes to improve."
Richarlison has a youthful, laconic manner about him away from the pitch, but when he crosses the white line, in training or in a game, he turns into a different animal. He looks so durable, able to cope with the physical demands of the Premier League, has a trick or three, is able to go past his man on the outside or inside and just to top it off, he's pretty handy in the air, too. He's also starting to receive attention from opposition managers.
"We knew when [Tony] Pulis put [Craig] Dawson at right-back to defend against him he would have good aggression," said Silva. "But the boy never gives up. We need to support him every day to improve as he will achieve fantastic things."
Technical Director Filippo Giraldi told us previously that Richarlison's name kept cropping up every time the club's South American scout watched a Fluminense game. Silva can see why.
"When I analysed the player, I the told board I wanted that player," he said.
"I saw different things in him to a normal Brazilian footballer. But I believe he will do even better in the future. He's our player, a Watford player. We are happy with him but we are happy with the others as well."