If Everton want to end the ‘Richarlison curse’, they may have to pay for the privilege.
As you may have heard, the Toffees have lost all nine Premier League games their £40 million Brazilian has missed through injury or suspension since he swapped Watford for Goodison Park more than two years ago.
And with Alex Iwobi, Andre Gomes and Bernard struggling to replicate Richarlison’s inimitable skills in defeats to Southampton, Newcastle and Manchester United before the international break, Carlo Ancelotti’s hopes of finding an internal solution to a growing problem appear to have gone up in smoke.
Fortunately, across the Channel there’s another left-sided attacker who may be in the shop window for the January sales.
According to Le10 Sport, cash-strapped St Etienne are under pressure to raise £18 million after suffering substantial losses in the past few months.
Selling Gabon international and Ligue 1 speed-machine Denis Bounga would go some way to keeping heads above water on the banks of the Rhone.
BuzzSport reports Everton had a £9 million bid rejected in the summer. St Etienne would, however, be willing to sell for closer to £13 million – a bargain fee for a forward who has 14 Ligue 1 goals since the start of last season.
Bouanga may not be as prolific as international teammate Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang but, like the Arsenal captain, he’s a joy to behold in full flow.
Few players in France can keep up with the jet-heeled 26-year-old in full flight while his finishing, if not always clinical, is often emphatic.
Bouanga would also offer a more sustained threat in Richarlison’s absence than the inconsistent Iwobi or peripheral Bernard.
Something for Everton to ponder, then, with January just a few weeks away.