He speaks hardly any English, but Richarlison is expressing himself eloquently on the pitch for Watford

Teammate Adrian Mariappa reveals how the young Brazilian has settled so quickly at Vicarage Road and what the Hornets can expect after their promising start to the season

Graham Thomas
Sunday 24 September 2017 15:39
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Richarlison scored the winner against Swansea City on Saturday
Richarlison scored the winner against Swansea City on Saturday

Richarlison hardly speaks a word of English but his Watford teammates couldn’t care less so long as the 20-year-old Brazillian continues to express himself so eloquently on the field.

Manager Marco Silva paid £11.5m for the striker this summer, more on a hunch than a proven record, but the rangy youngster’s second goal of the season against Swansea City on Saturday enabled the Hornets to write a new chapter in the club’s history.

Richarlison’s 90th minute goal meant Marco Silva’s side have become the first from Vicarage Road to win three successive away games in the Premier League and moved them into fifth spot in the table.

Defender Adrian Mariappa believes so long as Richarlison and his manager can chatter together in Portuguese, the club have a rare talent who will continue to thrive.

“He's settled in really well,” said Mariappa of the goalscorer who moved to Watford from Italian club Fluminense in July.

“He’s still brushing up on his English, but he's fitted into the group straightaway. I'm not teaching him English - but he's working on it and he's always smiling. He's got character about him and his age doesn't seem to matter.

“He's only 20 but he plays with a lot of personality and the boys really love him.

“He's had a great start, especially for a young lad, and he puts a great shift in for the team.

“He's got a great attitude for a young kid. He showed great composure for his goal and I was delighted he got the winner.”

Watford’s away surge appeared likely to be halted when Tammy Abraham’s poacher’s instinct earned Swansea a second-half equaliser to cancel out the visitors’ opening goal for Andre Gray.

But when Roque Mesa and Alfie Mawson both made errors to open the door to Watford late on, Richarlison lashed a shot in off the underside of the bar for the winner.

It was a spirited response from Silva’s men who many expected to carry the air of shell-shocked troops after their 6-0 annihilation at home to Manchester City the week before.

But Mariappa insisted Silva was able to convince his squad they could quickly move on from a result that was untypical of their efforts so far this season.

“Man City are a good side, so we looked at it to see the things that we could do better and take it from there. We weren't going to get too down about it, the same as when you do well you don't get too high about things.

“We analysed all the goals to see where we could improve and we don't let those lessons got to waste.

“Don't brush it under the carpet - the gaffer's big on that and won't let us rest on our laurels. It was important to come here and put a performance in and we did.”

There was plenty of evidence from Silva’s brief spell at Hull City that the 40-year-old from Lisbon could quickly move Watford on from a club happy to linger in that nether region below mid-table, but above the relegation zone.

Swansea were awful in the first-half, but 11 points from their opening six games shows Watford can have higher ambitions this season and much of that, according to Mariappa, is down to the manager’s influence.

“He’s very thorough in all his details. We all know what the gaffer wants from us and it's about going out on the pitch and executing that.

“He's definitely up there with the managers I've worked with. Tactically he's very good and you can see he's a quality manager. I'm excited to see how well we can do this season.”

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