By Goodison News speaking to Kevin Campbell

16th Jan, 2021 | 12:00pm

'Got to be clever' - Exclusive: Campbell explains why Everton need to keep Richarlison fit

We’re delighted to welcome former Everton striker Kevin Campbell as our exclusive columnist. Each week the former Toffees captain will be giving his views on the biggest talking points at Goodison Park…

Kevin Campbell believes Everton were being clever as Carlo Ancelotti benched Richarlison for the Blues’ recent game against Wolves. 

Gylfi Sigurdsson started up front in the 2-1 win at Molineux as Dominic Calvert-Lewin missed out through injury.

Richarlison did come on in the second half but he had little impact on the game as Campbell claimed that Ancelotti may be worried about his forward options.

Speaking to Goodison News, Campbell said, “I think they’ve got to be clever because Calvert-Lewin has done his hamstring.

“At the end of the day, you can play Richarlison up there but if he gets a knock then you are in deep trouble.

“So maybe it was a bit experimental but it worked. When push comes to shove, Richarlison will start so they were just wrapping him in cotton wool, for now, ready to unleash him in the next game.

The squad has learned to win without Richarlison as the Blues just about edged a 1-0 win against Sheffield United over the festive period.

This was a landmark moment as, until that game, we had never won a match without the Brazilian in the side since he arrived at Goodison.

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He is still a vital player which is why it was surprising to not see him line up against Wolves in what was a tricky and important game.

Perhaps Ancelotti was just resting him for the Aston Villa game which of course now won’t be played this weekend.

Villa have proved to be a difficult opponent this season so it makes sense that the Italian may have wanted Richarlison at full fitness for that tie.

Luckily, the Brazilian’s drop to the bench wasn’t a blow to the Blues as the players who were selected to start against Wolves secured a fantastic win over Nuno Espirito Santo’s side.

We do hope that he is reinstated to the starting eleven whenever our next game may be.

In other Everton news, Marcel Brands has declared that we won’t be making any signings in January.