Everton lost all three Premier League matches Richarlison’s Merseyside derby red card saw him suspended for.

The Toffees netted just two goals in those three clashes, with Southampton, Newcastle and Manchester United.

That means they still haven’t won any of the eight league matches they’ve played without the Brazilian, since his arrival in 2018.

In an exclusive interview with former Toffees goalkeeper Nigel Martyn, we asked why Richarlison is so important to Carlo Ancelotti’s side.

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“His quality, his energy,” said Martyn. “He’s got that nasty side to him as well, he’s got a will to win. That’s lost a little bit.

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“And he’s a goal threat. He fits into that system really, really well and without him they’ve been a little bit toothless. Calvert-Lewin benefits from having someone who can get in and around him a bit more.

“He’s probably gonna finish up second top scorer, and he’ll put his foot in. You can’t have too many players who do the pretty side of football.

“You need players who will get stuck in as well and he does that.”

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Without Richarlison, Everton have struggled to get in behind teams and stretch them in recent games.

Against Newcastle and Manchester United especially, too much of the play was in front of those sides.

That has meant Calvert-Lewin has had to feed almost exclusively off crosses from deeper areas, whereas Richarlison offers a different threat and as Martyn said, get closer to the England international.

The good news for Carlo Ancelotti is that Richarlison is back from suspension after the international break, when Everton travel to Fulham.

He has been called into the Brazil squad for the forthcoming World Cup qualifiers against Venezuela and Uruguay, and Ancelotti will hope to see him on the scoresheet there, meaning he should return to Merseyside sharp and full of confidence.

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