Journalist explains what really annoyed Richarlison when Harry Kane was at Tottenham

The Athletic’s Jack Pitt-Brooke has revealed that Richarlison has been quite keen on playing as a centre-forward from the day he arrived at Tottenham and was not particularly happy when Antonio Conte played him as a winger last season.

Richarlison has had a stunning turnaround since returning to action back in December after his groin surgery.

The Brazilian is now showcasing the sort of quality in the final third that convinced the Lilywhites to part ways with £60m to bring him through the door 18 months ago.

The striker’s brilliant brace on his return to Goodison Park last week took his Premier League goal tally to 10 so far this season (along with three assists) and Ange Postecolgou will be hoping that he continues his hot streak in front of goal.

Credit: Ollie Watkins (@watkinsstudio)

Richarlison is much happier playing down the middle

While there is no doubt that Richarlison is now playing with a lot more confidence than he did last season or at the start of this campaign, Pitt-Brooke has now suggested that being handed a run of starts as a number nine has also contributed to the forward’s turnaround.

The journalist said on The View From The Lane podcast: “The confidence element is connected to the football element because he’s always wanted to play as a number nine. Even when Harry Kane was at the club, he would get p—– off that he was not playing as a centre forward.

“Now you might say that you shouldn’t have gone to Tottenham in the first place if you wanted to play centre forward and you knew that they already had Harry Kane.

“But he did. And he wasn’t particularly enjoying being out wide or on the bench, because you wouldn’t really if you wanted to play as a striker.”

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When Richarlison returned from his injury lay-off in December, the simple choice for Ange would have been to stick the Brazilian out on the left and continue with Son in the number nine role.

Yet, the Australian decided to entrust Richarlison with the centre-forward role, even though things had not clicked for the 26-year-old in that position at the start of the season, and the former Everton man is now well and truly repaying his manager’s faith.

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