Tottenham forward Richarlison told FourFourTwo exactly what made him leave Everton for north London in the summer.
The Brazilian became Everton's second-most expensive signing of all time when he joined from Watford in 2018. Over that time, the Toffees have declined, finishing seventh the season before Richarlison joined – and 16th in his final campaign on Merseyside.
After a £60 million move to Spurs, the forward now tells FFT that he still loves Everton but that had he had to leave to compete at a higher level.
"It’s always a tough call when you have such strong connections with your club, and that was definitely the case for me," Richarlison told FFT in our new issue, a South American special. "I was happy at Everton and I’m grateful for everything I learned there. It’s a big club with a lot of history.
"However, perhaps they’re suffering with a lack of ambition nowadays. You know, that eagerness to win matches and trophies.
"I spent four years there and I could see there was still a very long way to go to achieve big things. I felt it was the right time to move on, and the club also had to make some money. It was a good deal for everyone involved. I’m delighted with this new challenge at Spurs."
Now playing in the Champions League, Richarlison says that last season was tough on him and that playing in a relegation battle was hard for Everton. But it was also a season in which he wasn't at his best physically, either.
"It was a very stressful season, to be honest. We had a lot of injuries and the squad wasn’t big enough to cope," he reveals. "I personally had some issues, too.
"As soon as the previous Premier League campaign had finished, I played in the Copa America, then the Olympic Games, and then the Premier League started again. I had no break and sustained a few injuries during the season."
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Mark White has been a staff writer on FourFourTwo since joining in January 2020, writing pieces for both online and the magazine. An encyclopedia of football shirts and boots knowledge – both past and present – Mark has also been to the FA Cup and League Cup finals for FFT and has written pieces for the mag ranging on subjects from Bobby Robson's season at Barcelona to Robinho's career. He once saw Tyrone Mings at a petrol station in Bournemouth but felt far too short to ask for a photo.