Watford have completed the signing of Fluminense forward Richarlison for a fee believed to be £11.5m, as Marco Silva makes important steps to boosting his frontline ahead of the new campaign.
Having already failed with two work permit applications for Adalberto Penaranda, who captained Venezuela to the final of the u20 World Cup in South Korea, he will spend the forthcoming campaign out on-loan with La Liga side Malaga.
As for Richarlison, he’s a talented youngster who has shown plenty of promise. At 20-years-old, he is yet to make his senior international debut for Brazil, though it shouldn’t be too long before he earns a call-up to Tite’s squad.
Having made 22 appearances last season for Fluminense, he netted seven and created four assists across both the league and Copa Sudamericana.
Claiming the achievement for the top-scoring u20 player in Brazilian football last season, it’s clear that Richarlison has plenty of potential to fufill in England.
He was reportedly close to a move elsewhere earlier this summer – both Palmeiras and Ajax were heavily interested, though last season’s runners-up were unwilling to match Watford’s sell-on clause offer.
According to the Guardian, the fact that Silva is a Portuguese-speaking coach was instrumental in the player’s decision to leave home comforts for England’s top flight. Brazilian goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes is also helping the youngster find a house in the area.
Fluminense manager Abel Braga had this to say about the player in March:
“If he keeps his feet on the ground, he has everything it takes to be one of Fluminense’s greats.”
Speedy, agile and tough to defend against, Richarlison has regularly been deployed on the flanks for Brazil’s u20 side, though he prefers to play as a centre forward – which explains why he only has three goals from ten appearances at international level to date.
He’ll be looking to improve upon his statistics in the coming months, especially with the amount of exposure his performances will receive in England’s top flight.