By Michael Brown

2nd Jan, 2021 | 2:21pm

'Unbelievable' - Exclusive: Top pundit on Everton player dispossessed the most

Michael Brown has defended Richarlison despite a lacklustre display for Everton against West Ham on Friday night. 

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the former Tottenham and Leeds midfielder believes the 23-year-old is still adapting to playing a different role in the attack after Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s rise to become the Toffees’ first-choice centre-forward.

Richarlison managed just one shot off target in the 1-0 defeat to the Hammers and was dispossessed three times, more than any other player in the Everton side [Whoscored].

The versatile Brazilian forward also managed a pass success rate of just 72 per cent, the second-worst rank – behind Calvert-Lewin – among those who started for Carlo Ancelotti.

However, Brown believes Richarlison is still an “unbelievable” talent who is still trying to adapt to his new role at Goodison Park.

“I think he’s asked to do a slightly different role with Calvert-Lewin at the top of the pitch,” Brown told Football Insider.

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“Richarlison is an unbelievable player. Yes, he hasn’t always scored but Everton had the chance to go second so we’ve just go to appreciate where they are.

“They’ve had a bad result from where you were expecting them to get right up to the top of the table but for Everton to still be in touching distance is a brilliant turnaround.” 

Richarlison has scored twice and chipped in with a further three assists for Everton this season, although one of his goals came as a penalty against Leicester City.

He has played primarily as a left-sided winger this season, although he has also featured as an attacking midfielder on occasion.

In other news, Football Insider can reveal the Toffees have opened talks over a £5million signing this month.