(REUTERS) - Everton forward Richarlison has only needed a few weeks at the club to show he has the potential to forge a successful career for both club and country, his compatriot and Brazilian great Rivaldo has said.
The 21-year-old scored three goals in his first two English Premier League starts for Everton after moving to Merseyside from Watford for a deal the British media estimated to be worth around £40 million (S$71.2 million).
His fast start has earned him a maiden call-up to the Brazil national side for friendlies in the United States - against the hosts on Friday (Sept 7) and El Salvador four days later.
"Nowadays it's hard to know if a player really deserves the money spent on him, because transfer values are high. I believe he'll justify the investment at Everton. He is making things happen," 2002 World Cup winner Rivaldo told the British media.
"He's producing solid performances in the Premier League and is clearly a good player, with great potential that could be really important for Brazil soon."
It has not all been plain sailing for Richarlison, however, after he was sent off against Bournemouth last month for aiming a headbutt at Adam Smith, with Rivaldo saying the forward had to control his emotions better if he wanted to reach the top.
"He was sent off after losing his temper and needs to understand that to become a top player he must relax and avoid this kind of behaviour," the 46-year-old added.
"I'm sure he will learn from this lesson, after all it was his mistake and he is the one that will suffer with that and he certainly won't repeat it again soon."