Everton legend Andy Gray has expressed that he was not overly disappointed to have lost Richarlison to Tottenham Hotspur earlier in the transfer window.

Richarlison joined Tottenham on a five-year contract for a sum in the region of £60million (BBC), on the back of having played a crucial role in helping the Toffees remain in the Premier League after scoring several crucial goals towards the end of the previous campaign.

The Brazilian international had 11 goals and five assists to his name from 33 matches across all competitions last season (Transfermarkt), quite an impressive return when taking into account how the Merseysiders struggled throughout that spell which left them in the relegation zone at one point.

Gray believes Richarlison’s departure is not as bad as people are making it out to be. The former striker suggested that Frank Lampard’s team can use that money to improve their squad to a greater extent, unlike a situation where the Brazilian would have remained at Goodison Park.

Speaking to talkSPORT, Gray said: “I know they’ve lost Richarlison. I know a lot of Evertonians will be bemoaning that fact – I’m not. I don’t think his numbers back up what he gave Everton.”

“Yes, he had a good finish to the season last year. Yes, he got five or six goals at the end but I think that papered over a lot of problems we had with Richarlison, so I’m not that disappointed he’s gone if we invest the £60m wisely and buy other players in.”

Our View

It is difficult to see Richarlison breaking into our starting lineup, especially when Harry Kane, Son Heung-Min and Dejan Kulusevski have formed a great partnership in a short period. The former would most likely be a rotational player, which did raise some questions within the fanbase.

After all, spending such a large fee on a squad player may not necessarily be the right decision. That being said, this move does make sense when applying the appropriate context. Finding a replacement for Kane has always been challenging, which left us with no one to back him up last time around.

The likes of Fernando Llorente, Vincent Janssen and Carlos Vinicius have not performed to the required level consistently in the past. In such a case, perhaps spending big on Richarlison could be helpful as he has proven his worth for club and country and could prove to be a solid acquisition indeed.

At the same time, Richarlison’s versatility to play anywhere in the attack would also be helpful to give rest to Son moving forward. Steven Bergwijn’s exit, coupled with Conte’s concerns about Bryan Gil (Football.London), could see the 25-year-old Brazilian also feature on the left wing making the fee even more reasonable.

Hence, Gray’s comments should not be a cause for concern, especially when Richarlison is yet to play under a world-class coach like Conte. We have seen the boss raise the level of his players first-hand, and there is no reason to see why he cannot do the same with the South American forward.