Watford forward and reported Tottenham and Arsenal target Richarlison has told of just how close he was to joining Dutch giants Ajax in the summer transfer window but is glad to have eventually signed for the Hornets.
Richarlison arrived at Vicarage Road from Brazilian outfit Fluminense in the summer in a deal worth £11.5m and has enjoyed a rather bright start under the much-admired Marco Silva, scoring four goals and providing two assists in 10 Premier League starts.
His fine performances have drawn interest from Tottenham, who have been in need of an attacker in Richardson's mould, and Arsenal, who will presumably need to find attacking reinforcements in the summer amid uncertainty over the futures of Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil.
Richarlison's arrival in the Premier League has seen his stock rise significantly, but his career could well have taken a different trajectory if he decided to move to Ajax rather than Watford, who will soon have to fend off interest in the Brazil youth international.
"Everything was done," Richarlison told The Times. "We just needed to sign the last papers. Then Marco [Silva] called me and told me I could play in his tactics, in one of the three forward positions. He told me he knew all about my qualities and he wanted me. I didn't think [twice] about it and I'm very glad I chose Watford."
Tottenham's interest was established earlier this week but news of Arsenal's engrossment in the Brazilian has predictably followed. The Gunners will likely need a replacement for Chile star Sanchez, who scored in their recent win over Tottenham, but Arsene Wenger's side may face competition from another of their London rivals in Chelsea, who were interested in signing Richarlison in the summer.
Watford boss Silva, who is currently being chased by Everton as they search for a successor to Ronald Koeman, has not been taken aback by the admiration in his star attacker held by the likes of Arsenal, and thinks the 20-year-old will be able to achieve everything he desires in the coming years.
"It's not a surprise if these clubs come to see him," Silva was quoted as saying by Sky Sports. "It's not really a surprise. He's had a fantastic impact at our club and on the Premier League. It's a normal situation that everyone's starting to talk about him, but most important is that he keeps going, to improve.
"He's a player with a lot of quality so it's normal if everybody starts to pay attention to him. He's a different type to the normal Brazilian player; for what we wanted for our team he's the player with the (right) skills.
"We are talking about a fantastic talent, a very, very good player. I'm sure in the future he'll achieve everything he can."