Return of Everton duo boost for team

Richarlison before the EPL season opener at Wolves. Despite being sent off against Bournemouth and suspended for three matches, the Brazilian is Everton's joint top scorer in the league with three goals.
Richarlison before the EPL season opener at Wolves. Despite being sent off against Bournemouth and suspended for three matches, the Brazilian is Everton's joint top scorer in the league with three goals.PHOTO: REUTERS

Richarlison back after three-game ban while fit-again Mina might make debut at Arsenal

LONDON • Everton manager Marco Silva is relishing the return of striker Richarlison following a three-match suspension, hailing the Brazilian as an "important player" ahead of today's English Premier League visit to Arsenal.

Centre-back Yerry Mina could also make his competitive debut for the club as Silva hopes to improve on their three-game winless streak in the league.

Summer signing Richarlison, who is Everton's joint top scorer this season alongside English youngster Dominic Calvert-Lewin with three goals in all competitions, was sent off in their 2-2 league draw with Bournemouth last month for a headbutt.

"He's an important player for us," Silva told reporters on Friday.

"He started very well and scored important goals for us. It's very important for us that he's back.

"He has to accept this (the red card). Of course, the season is 38 matches and in some moments he will be a fantastic player and in the other moments not so good, and you have to support him."

The 21-year-old has since apologised to Silva for losing his cool.

  • 3

    Premier League goals Richarlison has for Everton in as many games.

    50%

    The Brazilian's output was half of the Toffees' total goal haul in the three league games before his suspension.

"I went to see the manager because it was a tough game and being sent off meant my teammates were left in the lurch," Richarlison said in an interview with The Guardian.

"It has been really hard for me to not be playing. I was in the stadium watching the game on Sunday (the 3-1 home defeat by West Ham) and I was watching my teammates give their all, wishing I could be with them doing the same.

"The red card is upsetting but I've learnt from it and I will make sure it won't happen again."

Everton have not won in 24 visits to Arsenal in all competitions, a run that stretches back to January 1996.

"We play a strong (Arsenal) side but we have to play at our best level," Silva said. "It will be tough for sure."

He added that new signing Mina had trained all week with the team after recovering from a foot injury.

Mina announced himself on the global stage with a series of impressive performances for Colombia at the World Cup in Russia, where he marshalled his country's defence with ease and scored three goals.

His deadline-day capture from Barcelona for an initial €30.3 million (S$48.6 million) was widely seen as an astute move by an Everton side in need of rejuvenating an ageing backline, but the 23-year-old has not yet played this season.

"Mina has had a full week working with the team. He is getting better every day," Silva said, without being drawn on whether he would hand the defender his debut today.

And while Richarlison and Mina have the full support of their new manager, the same cannot be said for goalkeeper Bernd Leno, Arsenal's close-season signing from Bayer Leverkusen.

The German has experienced a tricky start to life at the Emirates as he waited for a chance to replace Petr Cech, who has struggled to adapt to manager Unai Emery's desire for a goalkeeper who can pass out from the back.

Asked if he had been frustrated at being made to wait to make his debut, Leno replied: "Of course, because I came... to play every game.

"But I think to move to a bigger club, another country, it needs maybe a little bit of time. It is a little bit frustrating but I keep calm and work very hard to improve.

"I think my performances in training are good. My chance will come."

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, THE GUARDIAN

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on September 23, 2018, with the headline 'Return of Everton duo boost for team'. Print Edition | Subscribe