When Richarlison first joined Antonio Conte’s Tottenham Hotspur side, there were questions about how long it would take for him to earn regular minutes. Conte had a settled front three of Harry Kane, Heung-Min Son and Dean Kulusevski leaving the new signing as an option off the bench to start his time with Spurs. Six matches in, however, after getting his first crack at the starting lineup, t’s clear that Richarlison is going to do everything possible to make sure that Conte doesn’t drop him from the team. On the fringes of Tite’s Brazil squad ahead of the World Cup, Richarlison knows that regular playing time is important for him to stay in the squad.
Along with that, good performances allow Richarlison to stay in Conte’s Champions League squad making his summer step up from Everton worth it. Following a brace against Marseille on matchday one, Richarlison now has two goals and two assists in six appearances for Spurs but that doesn’t tell the story of his impact on the squad. The team has been even, scoring seven goals with him and seven goals without him on the pitch, but four of those were during the opening match against Southampton that the Brazilian was suspended for.
Removing that match, it’s clear that Richarlison pushes the attack on despite logging only 257 minutes in all competitions. When he came on against Chelsea, Richarlison’s work rate was critical to earning a draw. It was a similar story against Nottingham Forest who were pushing for an equalizer when Richarlison created an assist for Harry Kane to put the game out of sight. So, there were signs in the Premier League that Richarlison was settling in just fine, but the Champions League could really be his coming out party.
Richarlisons track record shows that he thrives under pressure. He was involved in four goals over Everton’s last five matches to end the season last year, an absolutely crucial run to stave off relegation. It has been claimed that the Brazilian has really impressed Conte and all of his Spurs teammates. His incredible work ethic and the way he goes about things from the first whistle to the last is apparently something that ‘resonates’ with the Tottenham boss. The one thing that Spurs fans were guaranteed to get from Richarlison when they signed him was his incredible work ethic.
The Brazilian doesn’t stop running and is up there with the hardest-working players in the country. Conte has always demanded that from every single one of his players, and to see Richarlison work that way every day in training as well as in games must be really pleasing. That’s probably why the Brazilian has been preferred to Kulusevski, even though the Swede is a truly incredible player in his own right. With Richarlison performing really well and Kulusevski blowing everyone away with his cameos off the bench, it will be interesting to see who will get the nod against Leicester today.