Graeme Souness has credited Antonio Conte with transforming Richarlison from a player that went to the ground too easily to one who is willing to put in the hard yards for the team.
Richarlison has had a solid but unspectacular start to his Spurs career since his big-money move from Everton in the summer, with two goals and three assists for the Lilywhites so far (Transfermarkt).
The 25-year-old has primarily been used as a wide player by Conte in the majority of matches this season but he has demonstrated at the World Cup just how effective he can be as a number nine.
Richarlison has found the back of the net three times in Qatar, which includes two of the best goals in the tournament so far. Tite will be hoping that the Spurs star keeps up his run of form in front of goal as the Selecao enter the latter stages of the tournament.
Souness believes that Conte deserves credit for the improvement we are seeing in the former Toffees star.
The pundit said about Richarlison on ITV’s coverage of Brazil’s clash against South Korea (05/12/22): “He’s become a different player under Antonio Conte. I remember him at Everton, he was a player that threw himself to the ground for fun. He had the name as a diver.
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“Antonio Conte has sorted that out of him [at Tottenham]. Now, he is more inclined to do the hard yards. So, fair play to Conte, that is the demands he puts on players.”
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I am sure that Richarlison has made some improvements to his game, particularly tactically, as a result of working with Conte and his coaching staff.
However, to suggest that Conte has made him ‘do the hard yards’ is doing the 25-year-old a disservice as he was always an extremely hard-working player even during his Everton and Watford days, which is one of the reasons that the Spurs boss wanted him.