Richarlison admits Benitez was right to substitute him against Palace

Everton forward Richarlison admits Blues boss Rafa Benitez was right to substitute him during defeat to Crystal Palace despite anger from traveling fans as the manager was ‘trying to protect’ the Brazilian from a longer spell on the sidelines

  • Forward Richarlison was substituted during Everton’s loss to Crystal Palace
  • Everton boss Rafael Benitez came under fire from the travelling fans for decision
  • The Brazilian will miss the entire Christmas period after sustaining a calf issue
  • Richarlison has now admitted the Toffees manager was right to take him off 

Everton forward Richarlison has admitted manager Rafael Benitez was right to substitute him during Sunday’s defeat at Crystal Palace.

The decision was greeted with outright animosity from travelling fans towards the former Liverpool boss, who after the match revealed the Brazil international had a calf problem.

Richarlison’s reaction at the time did not help matters but the player has subsequently said the manager was right.

Richarlison (right) admitted Rafael Benitez (centre) was right to substitute him on Sunday 

‘It was frustrating I couldn’t stay on the pitch against Crystal Palace but Rafa did the right thing for me and for the team,’ he told the club’s official website.

‘I wasn’t able to play at my maximum capacity because of the issue with my calf and if I stayed on I would have done more damage and, probably, faced a longer period out of the team.

‘I understand the manager was trying to protect me.’

After the defeat to Crystal Palace, Benitez revealed the Brazilian had sustained a calf issue

Benitez said it was important for everyone to stick together during a run of one win in 10 matches.

‘The conversation I had with him was clear, he recognised he wanted to be on the pitch but he understood we wanted to do the best for him,’ said the Spaniard.

‘We wanted to protect him. We were trying to do the best for the team.

‘I was talking today with some senior players and everyone understands it is important to stick together.’

Benitez had planned to restore left-back Lucas Digne, dropped for two games after a fall out, to the starting line-up for the trip to Chelsea but the France international reported ill on Wednesday morning and will not be available.

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