EVERTON STRIKE IT RICH
It was a great season for Everton. By spectacularly avoiding relegation, they achieved that rare thing in the Premier League era: a memorable campaign, one for the ages to go alongside the time they avoided relegation in 1998, and the time they avoided relegation in 1994, and the year they finished proudly above Rafael Beneath-Us who then won Big Cup a couple of weeks later. But the best players set their sights even higher than these lofty goals, which explains why Richarlison wants out, up and away. He’s leaving to pursue tangible reward and glory with
[Fiver pauses, adjusts pince-nez]
yep, it says Spurs, right enough. Whether Tottenham Hotspur is the ideal destination in the Brazilian’s quest for success and silverware is a moot point, given they’ve been waiting even longer than the Ev (and Forest, Derby and Ipswich) for the title. But they are playing in Big Cup next season, have just signed Yves Bissouma, are managed by Antonio Conte, are not managed by Frank Lampard, and haven’t posted losses of £372m in the last three years. So it’s all relative. An upgrade’s an upgrade’s an upgrade, ain’t that the truth.
Everton are desperate to get the deal done by close of play on Thursday, in the hope of including the £50m fee in this year’s column of their tattered old account book, as they seek to comply with the Premier League’s seemingly arbitrary profit and sustainability rules. Spurs had offered Harry Winks and Steven Bergwijn in part exchange, but Everton wanted the chance to waste the money themselves. And so Richarlison leaves Goodison on good terms, having scored 53 goals in 152 appearances, six of them at crucial points during the recent relegation battle. Not a bad return for the £50m they paid Watford. No silverware, of course, and no profit on the deal, but the way things have been going for Everton lately, this counts as a rare success.
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“I see Sven Botman has arrived at St James’ Park to complete his £35m move from Lille to Newcastle (yesterday’s News, Bits and Bobs). I think Eddie Howe should consider signing another Dutch-born defender to play alongside Botman. My suggestion would be Rabin Omar who currently plays for Elgin City. A defence containing Botman and Rabin would surely be impenetrable. Holy broken bones!” – Fred Lawless.
“If Jonathan Alderslade (yesterday’s Fiver letters) is willing to spend £65 on a kit just to annoy one lefty Big Website journo, can I kindly offer my services instead? I’ll be annoyed for a mere £30, without the hassle of actually buying anything. Bank details available on request. Everyone’s a winner” – Matt Dony.
“In response to Dave McNulty’s question on the point of having a third strip (yesterday’s letters), I guess the simple answer is to make more money for the kit manufacturers and the club. Alternatively, given they are almost universally dire, I suspect there may be an annual, secret industry-wide competition to see who can foist the most bizarre offering on the unsuspecting public” – John Lawton.
“Having seen his image in yesterday’s Fiver, I can’t but wonder if England’s U-19s boss Ian Foster tells his young charges that ‘it’s time to play the game’ before each match, and counters any criticism by informing naysayers that he’s got two words for them?” – Jim Hearson.
Send your letters to firstname.lastname@example.org. And you can always tweet The Fiver via @guardian_sport. Today’s winner of our letter o’ the day is … Fred Lawless, who wins a copy of A Woman’s Game, by Suzy Wrack.
NEWS, BITS AND BOBS
Shrewsbury have cancelled their planned pre-season friendly against a side from Qatar. The club gave no reason for calling off next week’s game in Spain, but LGBTQ+ fans’ group Proud Salopians had called for the game to be scrapped.
In more-than-a-club news, Barcelona have cashed in 10% of their TV rights from La Liga for the next 25 years to US private equity group Sixth Street, trousering them a cool €207.5m. “We are activating economic levers and executing on our patient, sustainable, and efficient strategy to strengthen the club’s financial footing,” ker-chinged Barça president Joan Laporta.
Romelu Lukaku is chuffed to be back at Inter. “I’m back, baby,” he tooted. “I didn’t even leave my home when I went to England, which shows how happy I am to be back here.”
Juventus have said thanks, but no thanks, to a permanent move for Álvaro Morata, with the striker returning to Atlético Madrid after two seasons on loan in Turin.
West Ham have held talks with Villarreal about signing Arnaut Danjuma, but negotiations can’t have gone that well as the deal is now in doubt. David Moyes will likely settle on Jessie Lingard’s scrawl instead.
Gareth Ainsworth is so rock’n’roll that he’s signed a one-year contract extension to stay at Wycombe. “Other clubs talked to me this summer, but I’m really happy here,” he riffed.
The takeover of Derby County is expected to be completed imminently, according to the joint-administrators, but we’ve definitely heard that before.
And left-back Alexandro Bernabei will be the first Argentinian to play for the Queen’s Celtic, after completing his move from Lanus. “I’ve heard the people are crazy, so I can’t wait to sense that emotion,” he trilled.
STILL WANT MORE?
Our latest Euro 2022 team guides are in: get the lowdown on Germany and Spain.
From Old Trafford to the New York Stadium: a Euro 2022 venue lowdown.
Why moves for Richarlison, Gabriel Jesus and Raphinha make good sense. By Ben McAleer.
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