The departure of Tottenham Hotspur striker Harry Kane is not only gutting for their fans, but a lot of Fantasy Premier League manager as well. That is because Kane was an absolute FPL legend and a mainstay for the majority of the FPL teams for many seasons now.
The England captain was a goal machine for the Lilywhites, scoring in double digits in the league for nearly the last 10 years. He scored 213 Premier League goals in just 320 appearances for Spurs, winning the Golden Boot on three separate occasions and even the Best Playmaker award (for most assists) in the 2020/21 season.
With his departure, not only Spurs, but also the FPL managers will need to adjust themselves and find proper replacements. As the Lilywhites now frantically begin their search to find a promising forward to replace Kane in the frontline, there is someone who is already capable of playing as their no.9 that is not Son Heung-Min.
Presenting your Harry Kane successor: Richarlison
Yes, we are talking about none other than Richarlison. He could be a cunning FPL pick, mostly because of his ability and expectation to play as Spurs’ no.9 going forward. The Brazilian international, however, has been assorted as a midfielder in FPL with only a 7.0 rating.
Granted, Richarlison doesn’t have the best of history as a Spurs player. Yes, he only scored a single Premier League goal for them in the entirety of last season, but that was mostly because he was often played out of position. The 26-year-old often played in a right-wing role and was rarely the centre of attention in Spurs’ frontline due to Kane’s presence.
But this time around, there should be a change in that. With the lack of any proper no.9 (youngster Alejo Veliz is unlikely to be a starter at this point), all the fingers point to Richarlison to be the successor to Kane in the no.9 role.
Why 23/24 could be Richarlison’s season
Richarlison’s natural role is also to spearhead his side’s attack. He did so for Brazil in the 2022 Qatar World Cup pretty well, scoring three goals and providing an assist in four appearances. Everything is poised for him to break through at Spurs in the 2023/24 campaign under Ange Postecoglou, whose exciting attacking football is tailor-made for the centre-forward.
Now that he’s spent a full campaign with the North London side, Richarlison has been able to develop chemistry with his fellow teammates and also gain an understanding of how to play with the likes of Son Heung-Min and Dejan Kulusevski.
The 26-year-old has had an impressive pre-season campaign under Postecoglou, scoring a hattrick in their win over the Lion City Tigers to win the pre-season Tiger Cup. He even performed well in the opening game against West Ham, but ended up missing a few chances in that no.9 role.
Irrespective, Richarlison is the kind of forward who manages to find himself in those goal-scoring situations time and again to get on the end of many chances. He’s also pretty good in terms of linking-up moves with his teammates, while also being very skilful and blessed with a dribbling ability to dance his way past defenders.
Richarlison has scored 49 goals in 200 Premier League appearances, which includes scoring in double digits over a few campaigns for Everton in the past. If given enough resources and opportunities, the 26-year-old has proven himself capable of scoring a lot of goals.
Why Richarlison stands out in the 7.0 range
The 26-year-old is a solid midfield pick in the 7.0 range and can allow you to easily slot in Erling Haaland and even 12.5 Mohamed Salah into your FPL team. He is among the few 7.0 or under midfielders who is almost assured to play as a no.9 for his team on a consistent basis after the departure of Kane.
Even though Spurs have been rumoured to sign Gent striker Gift Orban, any young striker will slowly be implemented into the team. That means any young forward will probably get the treatment that Richarlison got at Spurs last time, which is mostly played as a substitute or in a rotational role in the debut campaign.
For now, Richarlison has that forward position to his own and that makes him a really solid 7.0 pick for any FPL manager. There are other options in that range, which include the likes of Leandro Trossard, Mason Mount and Jarrod Bowen.
But the advantage that Richarlison possesses is his tendency to play as a no.9 and not as a traditional ‘midfielder’, per se. Apart from the previous campaign, Richarlison proved himself as an FPL asset at Everton when spearheading their attack – averaging over 1000 in their ‘goal threat’ metric.
Another major plus point to having Richarlison is because of Spurs’ juicy first five games of the season. Apart from the second game against Manchester United (which is also at home), the Lilywhites face relatively easy opponents in their first month or so – including the likes of Burnley, Bournemouth and Sheffield United.
As Spurs search for a new striker, Richarlison is almost pinned to play as their no.9 for at least the first few game-weeks. And in that 7.0 FPL budget, there are hardly any options better than him in the midfield area.
Having a 7.0 midfielder (who is actually a forward) like Richarlison can help you create a balanced midfield for your FPL team with bulkier options like Salah and Bukayo Saka or Marcus Rashford.
The potential downside to picking Richarlison
Despite the positives of an affordable pick like Richarlison, there are certain issues to it as well. For one, the Brazilian forward could be placed under threat of losing his role once the Lilywhites sign a proper replacement for Kane.
Spurs are being linked to a move for young striker Gift Orban, who has already scored 5 goals in 3 appearances for Gent this season and has 25 goals in as many outings for him. If he can match even some of that goal form at Tottenham, then Postecoglou will surely insert him in that no.9 role and possibly bench Richarlison.
There are also the consistency concerns which come with someone like Richarlison. The Brazilian forward isn’t your Haaland or a goal-scoring midfielder like Salah who guarantees you goals almost every game. He has the tendency of switching off and having poor spellls that see him goalless for a major stretch, which can be annoying for any FPL manager. This is, after all, someone who only netted one PL goal last season.
While the Brazilian forward does come with a few risks, having only scored one PL goal last season, he’s now playing under a manager whose football style encourages the forward to get the most scoring chances (as shown in pre-season) and that is why taking a gamble on the 7.0 Richarlison can help you gain some extra points from midfield.