BBC pundits express Richarlison concern after Everton forward's international commitments
Everton forward Richarlison fired the Brazil Olympic team to a 4-2 win over Germany on Thursday, scoring a hat-trick during their group opener.
But the 24-year-old was also subject to some roughshod treatment by the Germans, leaving BBC [22/07/21] commentators Andy Bodfish and Charlie Brougham concerned about his physical state amid a hectic fixture list over the past year.
After Richarlison went down injured in the 12th minute, Bodfish said: “This will be a worrying moment, not only for the Brazilian coaching staff but I’m sure his club side will be looking on. They already know he’s been overworked during the summer, they’ll want him back in prime condition, though every time he hits the ground there will be more than a few worried faces back in the United Kingdom.”
Brougham added: “It’s an extraordinary schedule he’s been on. A gruelling Premier League campaign with Everton, he started the two World Cup qualifiers before the Copa America.
“He’s played nine pressure international matches since the start of June. I make it 54 matches since the 22 July last year. One big game a week.”
After he went down injured again moments later, Brougham added: “I Wonder what Rafael Benitez is thinking right now.”
Clocking up the miles
Richarlison’s physical state is certainly something Benitez will have to keep a close watch on when the Brazilian returns in August.
The Olympic Men’s Football final is not until August 6, and with Brazil brushing aside their European counterparts with ease yesterday, they look well-positioned to make it all the way.
That would surely see Richarlison miss the start of the 2021/22 Premier League campaign, which starts on August 14 for Everton.
He might get a break of a week or two to recover from his summer exertions, but even when he returns to Finch Farm, he will need to be closely managed.
One thing that should help is the recent signings of wingers Andros Townsend and Demarai Gray, who could help to fill the void left by Richarlison.
They are not near his level, but they are both established Premier League players who can cover, while Benitez may be looking to bring in another winger.
In other Everton news, Fabrizio Romano shares what ‘Napoli sources’ have told him about Blues and Kalidou Koulibaly.