Everton have received a “massive boost” after winger Richarlison returned to competitive action with Brazil, according to Noel Whelan.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider correspondent Dylan Childs, the former Leeds United striker claimed the Toffees have “desperately” missed the 23-year-old in their last three games.

Richarlison missed their defeats to Southampton, Newcastle United and Manchester United after being sent off against Liverpool last month.

The run of recent results mean the Toffees have not won any of the eight Premier League games the Brazilian has missed since his move in the summer of 2018.

Richarlison returned to competitive action in Brazil’s 1-0 win over Venezuela in World Cup qualifying on Monday night.

“That’s a massive boost,” Whelan told Football Insider.

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“Any player that’s been suspended, out for three games and missed three weeks of football needs those competitive games again to give them match fitness. That’s what he got with the national side.

“They’ve desperately missed him. They’ve got great players in the team but when you look at what Richarlison brings to that side and how much better they look when he’s in it, it’s no fluke.

“He brings a lot of aggression, a lot of speed, a lot of creativity, a lot of danger inside the area, he’s got an eye for a goal. Hence why they never sold him and built the team around him when Barcelona came calling.

“He’s a must in the side for Carlo Ancelotti and he will be very happy to have him back after recent results and score lines.”

In other Everton news, Darren Bent has been left wowed as the Toffees’ January transfer plan was revealed.