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Talking Tactics

Dynamic duos: Richarlison and Digne head in right direction

Adrian Clarke 20 May 2020
Richarlison and Digne, Everton

Adrian Clarke looks at the relationship between the Everton pair, which has given the Toffees a significant aerial threat

Adrian Clarke looks at some of the standout partnerships of the 2019/20 season so far. 

Richarlison and Lucas Digne

The partnership that is developing between Richarlison and Lucas Digne has been a major highlight for Everton.

With the accuracy of Digne's deliveries and the aerial strength of Richarlison, they are one of the most effective full-back and forward combinations in the Premier League.

From open play, left-back Digne has produced an impressive 115 crosses this season.

Among full-backs his return is bettered only by Liverpool duo Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andrew Robertson, who have managed 195 and 131 respectively.

The Frenchman regularly takes set-pieces and his precision leaves him fourth-highest for the number of successful crosses overall.

Most successful crosses 2019/20
Player Successful crosses
Kevin De Bruyne 69
Trent Alexander-Arnold 68
James Maddison 62
Lucas Digne 59
Joao Moutinho 57

Richarlison is outstanding in the air and attacks crosses with supreme confidence.

No player in the competition has registered more headed efforts on goal this season.

Of his 10 goals in 2019/20 so far, three have come via his head.

All of Richarlison's 2019/20 goals

The Brazilian forward has a knack of knowing exactly where Digne will put the ball, and he times his runs to perfection.

The stats reflect just how effective this combinations is.

Only two pairs in the Premier League have executed a higher number of successful crosses from one player to the other, and they are largely leading because of set-pieces.

Best cross combinations 2019/20
Player Team-mate Successful crosses to
Joao Moutinho Raul Jimenez 21
James Maddison Jonny Evans 16
Lucas Digne Richarlison 15
Trent Alexander-Arnold Roberto Firmino 15

While Richarlison gets chances from Digne's corners and wide free-kicks too, set-pieces only represent half of the opportunities laid on for him by the defender.

Eight of the key passes from Digne to Richarlison have stemmed from open play and, of the 16 supplied in total, 13 have been from crosses.

Richarlison is without question the Everton player opponents must worry about most.

Interestingly, Digne's relationship with Richarlison's strike partner Dominic Calvert-Lewin has been less fruitful. 

While Calvert-Lewin has been in terrific form this term, he does not have the same chemistry with his left-back. In fact, he has received only six key passes from the Frenchman.

Digne's key passes in 2019/20
Team-mate Key passes to
Richarlison 16
Yerry Mina 9
Dominic Calvert-Lewin 6
Tom Davies 5
Gylfi Sigurdsson 5

It is perhaps a surprise that Digne has provided only two assists for Richarlison in 2019/20, but if they continue to work so well together that tally is sure to improve.

This is a partnership manager Carlo Ancelotti will particularly look forward to seeing blossom over time.

See: Adrian Clarke's dynamic duos in 2019/20

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