Richarlison has made quite an impression on the Premier League since signing for Watford in August.
The forward, bought in from Fluminense for £11.5 million, has been in lethal form for Marco Silva’s side and is a key reason why they sit in the lofty position of eighth after 12 matches.
With five goals and three assists in his first few months in England, the Brazil under-20 international is already justifying his transfer fee and inevitably speculation has mounted that he could quickly outgrow the Hornets.
Indeed, the Daily Star reported on Sunday that Richarlison is on the radar of Arsenal, who are reportedly looking to snap him up ahead of their North London rivals Tottenham Hotspur.
With Alexis Sanchez possibly set to leave the Gunners either in January or when his contract expires in the summer, manager Arsene Wenger is looking at replacements and it seems the 20-year-old could be the man to fill the Chilean’s shoes.
Both players are arguably at their best when operating as an inside forward on the left flank, with Sanchez renowned for his ability to drift inside and attack the opposing penalty area.
Whilst not quite in the former Barcelona star’s class at this stage of his development, Richarlison is garnering a reputation as a similar threat with his direct, confident running with the ball allied to a deadly eye for goal.
Naturally right footed, the youngster is also comfortable on his left and demonstrated so with a fine finish to put West Ham United to the sword in Watford’s 2-0 win over the Hammers on Sunday.
Collecting Will Hughes’ pass outside the penalty area, he was shown onto his weaker side by defender Winston Reid but didn’t break stride as he fired low across England goalkeeper Joe Hart into the bottom corner of the net.
It was a strike that oozed self-belief and came after he had twice gone close earlier in the match.
However, with this kind of form comes an elevated price tag and it is not unreasonable to think that Richarlison could now be worth upwards of £25 million despite having played less than half a season in the top flight.
With the popularity of the Premier League across the globe and transfer fees spiralling into the hundreds of millions, even a few good matches are now enough to see a player’s value rise dramatically.
If Richarlison continues to perform as he has done thus far, by the end of the campaign Watford could well be entitled to ask for a massive fee for his services.
That is the nature of the market at present, despite the fact that most Arsenal fans would prefer to keep Sanchez than sign the Hornets winger.
A couple of gilt-edged missed chances against Chelsea earlier this term were enough to confirm that he is not yet the finished article, and swapping him in for the 28-year-old would not make the Gunners stronger in the short term.
It is the bigger picture, though, that makes Richarlison such an exciting prospect.
He is only at the start of his career and already looks like a fabulous investment for someone willing to splash the cash.
Watford would love to keep him at the club but money talks and if his form persists then it would be a surprise to see him at Vicarage Road next term.
Richarlison may well have the pick of Europe’s elite clubs next term but at Arsenal he could be a perfect fit.