Everton manager Carlo Ancelotti believes Richarlison is back to his goalscoring best with perfect timing as Dominic Calvert-Lewin is injured.
The Brazil international scored twice in the 5-4 FA Cup win over Tottenham and looks set to lead the line against Fulham – although the Toffees boss hinted he is ready to give deadline-day signing Josh King his full debut.
Top-scorer Calvert-Lewin’s preventative action in coming off in midweek after complaining of a hamstring problem may have saved him a longer lay-off than the one match Ancelotti expects him to miss.
Richarlison and King, who signed a short-term deal to move from Championship side Bournemouth, are waiting in reserve to pick up his mantle, with the former’s confidence receiving a much-needed boost.
“I was really pleased for the performance he showed against Tottenham because I think we can see he is back,” said Ancelotti of the Brazilian, who scored the last of his two Premier League goals this season in December.
“He had a lot of problems in the first part of the season but after the performance against Tottenham we can say he is back and we are really pleased for this as everyone knows he is a really important player for us.
“I think Joshua King can play in that position, but as a winger also. Without Calvert-Lewin there, to put him in the first XI is a strong possibility.
“His physical condition is good and his adaptation to the team is working well.”
Calvert-Lewin joins England-team mate Jordan Pickford in missing the game against the Cottagers, the third fixture Everton’s goalkeeper has missed because of a rib injury.
“Both of them will not be available for the game on Sunday,” added Ancelotti.
“We are looking for the next game on Wednesday (at home to Manchester City) where we think both of them will be available.
“He (Calvert-Lewin) stopped before the problem. He only had a sensation, the feeling that something wasn’t good. He only has a little problem.”
Playmaker James Rodriguez and Andre Gomes, who both missed the Spurs match, will return on Sunday.
However, midfielder Jean-Philippe Gbamin’s long road back to recovery continues after a number of serious injuries, the last a torn Achilles tendon.
“He’s working, he’s training individually. Everything is going well but we have to think about him training with the team is 15 days and to play is one month,” added Ancelotti.