Marco Silva’s Watford have been by far and away one of the biggest surprises in the Premier League so far. The Hornets, who finished only one place above the relegation zone last season, mustering just forty points, have made a fantastic start to the season after Silva’s squad overhaul in the summer.
Silva’s revolution is still in its infancy, but already the Portuguese manager has Vicarage Road rocking. Watford lie in eighth, just two points off third place and level on points with Liverpool. They have lost just once, winning three times and drawing three times.
Watford’s storming start has been largely due to how well some of Marco Silva’s plethora of new signings have settled into English football, none more so than Brazilian starlet Richarlison.
Signed from Fluminense for £11.2 million where he scored 19 goals in 67 appearances for the club. The versatile forward drew much attention to himself from all over Europe for his pace and finishing but it was Marco Silva who secured his signature and it has so far proven to be a rather inspired move.
✨⚪️| Richarlison (20) scored a 95th minute equaliser to take his tally too 3 goals this season.
Top signing! ⚡️ pic.twitter.com/u4zSqPKx2a
— Footy Scouted (@FootyScouted) September 30, 2017
Richarlison has taken to English football like a duck to water, making a mockery of the supposed “settling-in” period that so many Premier League rookies require. Having made his debut as a substitute against Liverpool on the opening day of the season, the 20-year-old has quickly established himself as the new darling of Vicarage Road.
Since his arrival in Hertfordshire, the Brazilian has netted three times and assisted once, to date. A natural wide man playing on the left-hand side of the Watford front three, Richarlison has shown a penchant for driving inside to act as a secondary striker rather than looking to cross. Comfortable with the ball at his feet as well as using his electric speed to run into open space, he is already proving to be more than just a nuisance for Premier League defenders.
He scored a terrific winner against Swansea, thrashing home off the underside of the bar to add to his bundling finish against Bournemouth in the second week.
It really has been quite remarkable how quickly he has adapted to the rigors of the Premier League after eyebrows were initially raised regarding his physical stature when he first arrived on English shores.
However, possibly the most impressive aspect of the slimly-built Brazilian’s game is his aerial prowess. He has one hell of a leap on him and has added a whole new threat for the Hornets from set pieces. His towering header to level matters against West Brom just went to prove how powerful the lad is in the air.
Richarlison: No player has won the WhoScored MotM award more times than Richarlison (3) in the Premier League this season pic.twitter.com/aeVjZ9ihTs
— WhoScored.com (@WhoScored) October 11, 2017
Marco Silva, not big on the whole business of words, is definitely pleased with how his new signing has hit the ground running, speaking on the Brazilian in a recent interview with the clubs website.
“He’s a huge talent, an amazing boy; he’s a worker. Every day he comes to improve.”
If he continues to find the back of the net on a regular basis, he may just draw a few more words out his manager.
So impressive has been Richarlison’s start, that it has sent tongues wagging over a potential call up the Brazilian national team. Having made ten appearances for the Under-20’s, he could soon be fast-tracked into the big time for a friendly against England as coach Tite goes about assessing his potential options ahead of the 2018 World Cup.
Meanwhile, the man himself continues to live his dream, and should he keep his head down and feet on the ground the sky really is the limit.
“First of all, I’m extremely happy for my first goal in the Premier League. I’m very happy that I helped my team, it’s a dream come true and I hope to continue like this,” he said in an interview with Watford’s official Youtube channel after his first goal for the club.
“I will continue to keep working hard, I’ll continue to listen to what the manager tells me to do and I’ll keep improving.
“Today you managed to see a little bit of Richarlison, but you will see even more over the next games.”
Since that interview, he has added two more goals to his tally and fans are bellowing his name from the terraces. Defenders will undoubtedly be watching the forward much closer from now on.