Richarlison was signed by Watford for £11.2 million from Fluminense but no one expected too much from him. After all he was just 20 years-old and coming from Brazil. Many adults have failed to settle in quickly, so it'd be no shock for him to do the same.
But in just his second game, and first start, Richarlison scored. It was an impressive debut that has set the tone for an impressive season so far. Already bigger clubs are circling, chief among them is Tottenham who are plotting a January bid for the Brazilian. So what are his qualities?
First thing's first, he's pretty damn quick. Obviously pace isn't the be-all and end-all, but being able to beat defenders in a footrace is an invaluable weapon. Richarlison isn't going to outrun Usain Bolt, sure, but he's got the speed to keep his opponents afraid.
The Premier League is a physical one, there's no two ways about it, and Richarlison has thus far displayed a surprising amount of upper-body strength. It has allowed him to shove defenders aside, creating room for him to show his skills and make things happen.
Lots of players are strong and fast, but what really sets Richarlison apart is his excellent dribbling skills. Richarlison has attempted 45 dribbles so far this season, winning 21 of them for a 47% success rate. His 45 attempted dribbles is third highest in the division, but his 21 completed is only eighth; indicating that he just needs to be slightly more judicious in picking the moments when to dribble. That will come with time and experience, especially if he were to move to Tottenham and link up with the magnificent Mauricio Pochettino.
Richarlison's 4 goals so far this season is a decent return, but the eye-popping stat is that he's scored those goals from 39 shots. That's a shot conversion of just 10% - far from ideal. But look at where the shots have come from: 29 have been from inside the box.
No Premier League player has had as many headed attempts at goal as Richarlison's 12. He's not letting them fly from range, he's using his excellent movement to get into great positions (no one has missed more big chances this season than his 6) and, sure, from there he's missing but the fact that his movement is so deft at 20?
Big Moment Mentality
Of course all those skills are no good if you can't bring them out to play on the big stage. Luckily for Watford, Richarlison loves the big stage. Already this season he's twice been a hero; away to Swansea, Richarlison scored a 95th minute winner to hand Watford the three points.
Then a week later against West Brom, with the Hornets 2-0 down, he created a goal for Abdoulaye Doucoure and then scored an equaliser in, you guessed it, the 95th minute. He's fearless and a born lead-from-the-front type of forward. That alone would make him perfect for a Tottenham side that are so often lacking that exact kind of player. Should Spurs sign Richarlison, it would almost certainly be the first step on his road to greatness.