Richarlison made an impact for Tottenham Hotspur at Chelsea on Sunday and has now earned praise from Jermaine Jenas.
Tottenham weren’t at their best on Sunday and were very quiet in the first half, falling 1-0 down as Kalidou Koulibaly put Chelsea ahead.
Antonio Conte brought Richarlison and went pretty gung-ho with something of a 4-2-2-2, pushing Son Heung-min and Dejan Kulusevski up behind Richarlison and Harry Kane.
Tottenham got back into the game through Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, only for Reece James to put Chelsea back in front.
Spurs did grab another leveller though, with Harry Kane rescuing a point in somewhat controversial circumstances as Cristian Romero avoided punishment for yanking Marc Cucurella’s hair.
Richarlison made an impact for Tottenham Hotspur
Richarlison didn’t really have a huge hand in either goal, except to stand offside and – depending on who ask – potentially block Edouard Mendy’s view for Hojbjerg’s goal.
Yet the Brazilian did help change the energy in Tottenham’s attack, giving Chelsea’s front three more of a problem whilst dealing with two strikers.
Tottenham have paid big money to sign Richarlison from Everton this summer and they are seeking a big impact from him.
Richarlison will ultimately serve as cover and competition for Harry Kane this season, and may have to deal with these substitute appearances more often than not.
Conte will be happy with the energy and intensity Richarlison displayed at Stamford Bridge, and pundit Jermaine Jenas has offered his take.
Former Tottenham ace Jenas has told Match of the Day 2 that he felt Richarlison made an instant impact simply because he wants to run forward and push the defensive line back.
Jenas noted that Richarlison’s movement just gave Chelsea something different to think about, helping Tottenham create more in the final third.
Jenas added that Richarlison is ‘horrible’ to play against and ultimately lifted the Tottenham team with his attitude.
“This man comes on the pitch, Richarlison, and automatically, he wants to run forward,” said Jenas. “Just running forward, it causes some doubt in defenders’ minds. All of a sudden, Koulibaly is occupied now and now they can start to play in the final third.”
“All of these runs forward, look at the impact is has from midfield to defence – it create holes. Just his runs have changed the whole outlook of the game for Tottenham.”
“On top of that, he’s horrible – he’s not nice to play against, he’s in your face. Him coming on lifted that team, lifted the spirit,” he added.