Ange Postecolgou has said that he could shift Richarlison back to left wing next month after Son Heung-min travels to the Asian Cup.
The move worked at the time, with the South Korean going on a hot streak but after the Brazilian returned from his groin operation, the Spurs head coach has decided to interchange the two players once again, with the former Everton man now leading the line.
Richarlison has looked a completely different player since returning to action, seemingly moving a lot more freely, and he has found the back of the net four times in his last three Premier League starts.
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When asked about the 26-year-old’s best position, Postecoglou toldFootball.London: “We played him out wide, on the left because he was struggling with certain things at the start of the year in terms of his body and it just made sense for us to play him in those wide areas and we had Sonny who could play in the middle and he was going well at the time.
“Now it suits us to have Richy through the middle and Sonny out on the left, but with Sonny going, there is always the opportunity to play Richy out there as well. I mean, that’s where he played the majority of his Everton Premier League career and scored a lot of goals out there. So there’s always that possibility as well.
“Again I like players who are multi-functional in that way and if you look at our front players – whether that’s Sonny, Kulusevski, Johnson, Richy – they’ve all played just about every position there and at the moment us having Richy at nine is working well for us and we’ll continue with that but there’s always a possibility that it could change.”
Postecoglou dismissed the idea that Richarlison is a player who blows hot and cold, pointing out that the striker was going through a tough time earlier this season.
When it was suggested that the Selecao star could be a ‘all or nothing’ player, the Spurs head coach responded: “I think it’s a bit harsh. I don’t think it’s all or nothing. Nothing is a fairly low point. You can’t get away with nothing in the Premier League. Even at the start of the season for us, he was still working hard and he was a big contributor to our start to the season.
“They’re human beings. I’m sure you have bad days at work and you’ve probably written some things and you’ve gone: ‘I wish I hadn’t done that but I was feeling crap on the day.’ And footballers are no different and that’s a responsibility they have is that when a footballer enters a field of play, the presumption from everyone on the outside is that if you’re ready to play, we expect you to play.
That’s the reality of being a professional footballer, but the flip side of that is that we know that’s not always the case. Richy is just in a good space at the moment and I think as much of it is physical as anything else. Obviously scoring goals and playing well helps. When you feel good about that side of you as a professional athlete, then it kind of filters through to everything else.”