Everton forward Richarlison replies to Paul Merson after pundit’s criticism following last summer’s £50 million Everton move

Everton snapped up Brazil international Richarlison from Watford last summer for an initial £35 million that could rise to £50 million.

The fees got a lot of people talking as the youngster only scored five goals in 38 league games in his first-ever English top-flight campaign.

Sky Sports pundit Paul Merson was particularly critical of the fees, claiming Richarlison had spoiled the transfer market in England as a result.

“I think that’s [Richarlison signing] what’s spoiled the window if I’m being perfectly honest,” the former Arsenal star said ahead of the campaign last summer.

“I think that happened so early, and at £40m that set the benchmark.

“Teams then have gone, ‘Well if you’re getting £40m for him I want £60m, £70m, £80m, £90m and £100m. I think that’s the problem.”

Merson has since admitted he was wrong to criticize the Goodison Park outfit for splashing out on Richarlison after the former Watford man bagged 14 goals in 38 appearances last term.

While questions over his price tag have been forgotten, the 22-year-old is yet to get over Merson’s stinging criticism, and has now responded to it.

“There was a lot of criticism and negativity about the value of my transfer fee. And like it or not, it was a gamble from the club,” Richarlison told Goal.

“The press were on top of me a little bit. I remember one guy [Merson] said that I had ruined the transfer window, but he doesn’t know me as a player or a person, and even though we try to focus on training and playing, these things do get to us. 

“Thankfully, it didn’t hold me back and I had a good season. I kept my fitness good, my mind was good and I had a good finish to the season. It was here at Everton that I broke into the Brazilian national squad.”

Richarlison was one of the stars at the Copa America, scoring the goal that helped his side wrap up a 3-1 victory against Peru in the final.

The former Fluminense star is looking forward to helping Everton to a top-seven finish this season, and it will be interesting to see how he fares going forward.

Manager Marco Silva has helped improve the Brazilian, and he will hope he can score 20+ goals this season.

Given Richarlison’s quality and huge potential, that is very possible.

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