The Brazilian quickly established himself as one of the most important players in the Blues squad shortly after moving from Watford in the summer of 2018.
His versatility has since allowed him to adapt to multiple positions in the top three positions. The 23-year-old is currently on the left.
But his suspension after receiving a red card against Liverpool earlier this month has been a headache for Carlo Ancelotti.
Richarlison’s absence was very evident against Southampton and while it wasn’t the only problem Everton had that afternoon, it played a crucial role for them when they suffered their first loss of the season.
Replacing the Brazilian in a squad wouldn’t be easy given his unique skills and importance to the team.
But what could Ancelotti’s plan B for future games look like?
Bernard took his first Premier League minutes of the season off the bench against Southampton last weekend at halftime to replace Alex Iwobi, who we will talk about later.
Because of this, it is difficult to make a statistical assessment of the Brazilian’s ability to replace his compatriot – but there are still interesting points emerging from his numbers against the Saints.
For example, one of the greatest aspects of Richarlison’s game is how strong he is in a defensive sense.
While the 23-year-old has a lot of offensive influence, his willingness to come back and step into the tough yards at either end of the field is fascinating.
Richarlison has averaged 2.8 tackles per 90 minutes in the Premier League this season, as well as 0.5 interceptions and 0.9 clearances.
In this sense, Bernard’s 45 minutes against Southampton were at least comparable. During his time on the field, he made one tackle, one clearance, and three interceptions.
For the latter statistic, the Brazilian’s numbers were better than anyone else who played for Everton on Sunday afternoon.
There were also interesting points to consider when it came to attack statistics.
Only two Everton players made key passes against Southampton, James Rodriguez and Bernard in the 90 minutes – both players made two.
Although Bernard was only on the field in the second half, he completed more passes than three Blues that started proceedings on the south coast.
It is important to read the Everton FC messages
In the 28-year-old’s two other appearances this season, both in the League Cup, he played a more central role and seemed to be the team’s creative center.
He scored a great goal for Fleetwood Town in a match in which he sent Richarlison into the box for the evening’s opening stroke with a neat cross.
There are certainly promising signs for the Bernhard if he should be called.
Sunday was admittedly not the best afternoon for Alex Iwobi.
The game got off to a good start for the Nigerian international as he often found space on the left behind the Southampton defense.
However, in this area he was unable to use possession of the ball effectively enough as it was withdrawn from action at halftime after having only one shot and no key passes.
However, a closer look at his 2020/21 numbers makes a better argument for the former Arsenal man when it comes to getting on the side again.
Iwobi has played almost 240 minutes less than Richarlison in the Premier League this season, which admittedly could skew his numbers at this early stage.
On the defensive, the average is currently 3.1 tackles, 2.5 interceptions and 1.2 clearances per 90 minutes – which at least shows that his defensive tasks are not neglected when it was introduced.
Arguably his best performance of the season was against Brighton earlier this month after Richarlison was withdrawn in the first half due to injury.
Iwobi took the opportunity to assist James Rodriguez with a ball to the back post to score Everton’s third goal of the afternoon.
And his creativity continued to show with a perfectly matched and weighted ball all the way up to Abdoulaye Doucoure before the midfielder switched back to the Colombian to score the fourth day.
In this game, the Nigerian international also fulfilled his defensive skills – two tackles, two clears and four interceptions.
However, his ineffective 45 minutes against Southampton will undoubtedly play a role in the manager’s thinking.
Now we come to the player that many Evertoners want to see when given an opportunity.
This is of course no surprise. The winger impressed several times after his breakthrough in the first team last season.
His rise in recent years has been fascinating at times, and understandably the anticipation is growing that the young Scouser is now showing his remarkable talents on the stage of the Premier League.
Gordon got his first chance in competition off the bench at halftime against West Ham United in January and was rewarded with his first start when Liverpool visited Goodison Park after the suspension.
His first competition support followed shortly thereafter, where Richarlison scored against Leicester, and there were already signs that the youngster wanted to continue his progress this season.
The wingers are mostly represented in the League Cup so far this season, but he has shown promise in those games.
Desperate to score against Salford City, he hit the wood twice and shot a total of eight shots that evening but couldn’t quite find the back of the net.
However, the youngster grabbed an assist and won the penalty, which Moise Kean converted late, showing an important contribution to the 3-0 victory.
He took this on in his next game against Fleetwood Town and got off the bench on the occasion in the second half.
Gordon finished the game again with two key passes and an assist to ensure that he improved his return in less time in all competitions of last season.
The winger was featured in the second half against Southampton when the game was essentially already over, meaning his stats from that game are likely not fair to analyze too much.
However, given his previous performances this season, there is reason to believe Ancelotti might well consider this weekend.
However, a possible change in formation must also be mentioned.
Everton will have to forego the usual left home against Newcastle. Both Lucas Digne and Richarlison are banned from the game.
Niels Nkounkou will fill in for the France international on the left after showing his fantastic ability to move forward in previous games.
Could switching to three-on-back formation be an option?
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Ancelotti has Ben Godfrey who could be used as a center-back alongside Michael Keane and Yerry Mina. Jonjoe Kenny or Seamus Coleman could return to take on the right back role.
James Rodriguez was able to move almost into the middle of the field alongside Dominic Calvert-Lewin, with the usual trio of Allan, Abdoulaye Doucoure and Andre Gomes forming the heart of the team.
It is certainly doable, but whether or not the manager is considering it is a different matter.
Regardless, there are tons of interesting options for Ancelotti this week.
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