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Andros Townsend: 'Tottenham Hotspur not a step up from Everton for Richarlison'

Andros Townsend: 'Spurs not a step up from Everton for Richarlison'
© Reuters
Former Tottenham Hotspur winger Andros Townsend claims that Tottenham Hotspur would not represent a step-up from Everton for Lilywhites-linked attacker Richarlison.

Former Tottenham Hotspur and current Everton winger Andros Townsend has claimed that it would be "disrespectful" to label the Lilywhites as an upgrade on the Toffees for Richarlison.

The Brazil international is thought to be one of Antonio Conte's leading attacking targets as the Tottenham boss seeks backup and competition to Harry Kane for the 2022-23 season.

Richarlison's 10 goals and five assists in 30 Premier League appearances helped Everton retain their top-flight status last term, but he is being heavily linked with an exit regardless.

The 25-year-old only has two years left to run on his contract at Goodison Park, and he has allegedly told his close contacts that he wants to make the switch to the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

However, Townsend - who was on the books at Tottenham for 16 years between 2000 and 2016 - believes that the North London club do not represent a step-up from Everton.

Everton's Andros Townsend applauds fans after the match, December 12, 2021© Reuters

"I think you're being slightly disrespectful by calling Spurs a step-up," the 30-year-old told talkSPORT, as quoted by the Daily Mail.

"I think Everton is one of the biggest clubs in England, one of the most historic clubs, one of the biggest fanbases. He's already a hero at Everton for what he's done. He's a fantastic player and towards the end of the season the goals he scored to keep us up."

Townsend joined Tottenham as a youth player in 2000 and ended up making 93 appearances for the club in all tournaments, scoring 11 goals and setting up 15 more.

However, the England international was loaned out a total of nine times during his 16-year spell in North London, and he was permanently sold to Newcastle United for £14.1m in January 2016.

Meanwhile, Everton forked out £35.3m to prise Richarlison away from Watford in the summer of 2018, and the South American has since registered 53 goals and 14 assists in 152 appearances for the Merseyside club.

Harry Kane celebrates scoring for Tottenham Hotspur against Norwich City on May 22, 2022© Reuters

Chelsea have also been credited with an interest in the former America Mineiro and Fluminense attacker, who has only finished as high as eighth at Goodison Park and could only help Everton place 16th last season.

Meanwhile, Tottenham pipped Arsenal to the fourth and final Champions League qualification spot on the final day of the 2021-22 season and have wasted no time in bolstering their squad for the new campaign.

Fraser Forster and Ivan Perisic have both arrived on free transfers, while Yves Bissouma has signed from Brighton & Hove Albion in a deal that could fetch up to £35m.

Conte is also thought to be after a new centre-back and possibly a new right-wing back before the window shuts, but Spurs are struggling to make progress in their efforts to sign Djed Spence from Middlesbrough.

The likes of Bremer, Josko Gvardiol, Mohamed Simakan and Clement Lenglet have all been linked with moves to North London, and Tottenham are said to be in talks with Barcelona over a loan move for the latter.

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Barcelona's Clement Lenglet pictured on December 8, 2021
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