Paul Robinson believes his old club Tottenham have made a real ‘statement’ with the big-money signing of Richarlison from Everton.
Spurs announced the £60million signing of the Brazilian forward on Friday, with £50m paid up front and a further £10m in add-ons for the player who scored 11 goals and added five assists in all competitions last season.
Richarlison will now compete with Harry Kane, Son Heung-min, Dejan Kulusevski and Lucas Moura for a starting role under Antonio Conte.
And Robinson insists that the Tottenham attack is now comparable with Liverpool’s free-scoring frontline.
He told Football Insider: “It is a massive statement. It is a statement that says, ‘We are a big club and we will be fighting for trophies.’ The signings that the manager has been allowed to make are great.
“Richarlison is a statement signing. Nobody wants to play second fiddle to Harry Kane. Now they have a world-class striker who is able to play in behind.
“It is a squad game more than ever. Look at Liverpool with Mohamed Salah, Luis Diaz, Diogo Jota and Darwin Nunez. Now Spurs have similar depth.
“Any three of Tottenham’s forwards forms a formidable front three. The manager has got some brilliant options.
“Richarlison is a top player and he is only 25. He scored some very important goals for Everton last season.
“It is a huge statement signing from Spurs. This is the biggest signing under Conte.”
Nice selection problem for Conte
Richarlison’s biggest problem now is trying to force his way into Conte’s attacking set-up.
The former Everton man is at his best playing through the middle and is not as effective out wide. So unless Conte changes his formation it’s hard to see how he starts games under the Italian.
There is no way Son will be dropped and much now depends on whether Kulusevki can start the new campaign the way he ended the last.
The Swede was instrumental in Tottenham finishing fourth in the table, bagging goals and assists after his loan switch from Juventus.
Richarlison can, as Kane has also shown, play in a deeper role. But that is not the position Spurs bought him to play in, so perhaps Conte has some kind of master plan for fitting all his attacking talent in one team.
Pre-season will likely confirm Conte’s plans, with Tottenham facing Southampton at home in their Premier League opener on August 6.