By Noel Whelan

16th Jul, 2021 | 4:00pm

Everton backed to sign 'explosive' Richarlison replacement fans will love

Noel Whelan has insisted Newcastle United winger Allan Saint-Maximin would be the perfect replacement for Richarlison at Everton.

The former Leeds striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, claimed the 24-year-old Frenchman would “excite the Everton faithful”.

The Mirror reported (July 10th) Saint-Maximin will be a target for Rafael Benitez if Richarlison leaves this summer.

A Goodison source has told Football Insider that Everton’s interest in Saint-Maximin is genuine.

However, the Magpies are said to have slapped a £60million valuation on the winger’s head.

He still has five years left on his contract on Tyneside.

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As revealed by Football Insider in May, Everton want to bring in a world-class winger this summer.

Whelan suggested Saint-Maximin would be an exciting capture for the Toffees.

Whelan told Football Insider’s Russell Edge: “He’s very direct. A player with that kind of explosive ability, like Adama Traore.

“Somebody that can open up gaps, skip past players, bring Calvert-Lewin, Rodriguez and other players into play.

“This is the sort of player that if they are going to lose a Richarlison you’ve got to replace them with.

“He’s somebody that is going to excite the Everton faithful. Bring that kind of life back, that edge-of-the-seat football player.

“He’s going to take their minds off the fact they’ve lost a Brazil number nine. However, he would be a player that you’ve got to look at injuries.

“You’ve got to see the fact that he went through a few niggles, a long spell out at Newcastle.

“He would be well worth a punt if you keep that player fit. He would definitely bring some excitement to Goodison Park.”

Saint-Maximin played 25 times in the Premier League last season, scoring three goals and contributing four assists.

He missed a handful of games after suffering from the symptoms of coronavirus.

In other news, Everton star tipped to leave for Manchester on one condition.