Ange Postecoglou feels there is even more to come from in-form Tottenham forward Richarlison.
Richarlison made it seven goals in as many Premier League matches with the crucial third goal in Wednesday’s 3-2 win over Brentford.
Spurs have been without captain Son Heung-min for the last month due to his Asian Cup commitments, but the Brazil international has filled the void and started to repay his £60million price tag following a difficult debut campaign.
Ahead of Saturday’s trip to Everton, Postecoglou said: “For me, it’s about trying to get players to fulfil their potential and with Richy, I still think there is growth there.
“If he keeps growing, well we the football club will be the beneficiaries of it.
“The goals are obviously important because that’s everyone’s measure, but I think his general game is improving and that’s the main thing for me. That’s what I’ve seen.
“The way we play and the kind of player Richy is, I was always confident he would score goals but we need more than that. I think his work rate now defensively, which was really important when we had Sonny up there hasn’t dropped off with Richy there.
“He’s working really hard for the team and the Ks (kilometres) he did the other night was right up there. Then his link up and hold up play is improving all the time. See I love that.
“I love when players still want to improve and do improve rather than say he’s played for his national team and been here quite a while. I can see him developing further and that’s what you want as a manager and coach. For us, he’s becoming a really important player.”
Minor groin surgery in November has been cited as a key reason behind Richarlison’s improvement, but Postecoglou has also fostered an environment at Tottenham that has allowed several players to flourish after previously mixed spells at the club or elsewhere.
He placed the credit firmly with the squad, adding: “I think the team has helped, but not just Richy, it’s a really strong dressing room in terms of the guys being really supportive of each other.
“We’ve had a number of guys coming back from long-term injuries or missed football and I think the reason they’ve come back and never felt disconnected is because of the dressing room we’ve created.
“For that, you need good leaders. Sonny is definitely that and (Cristian) Romero now, over the last few weeks, has grown even more. He’s a positive influence over everyone in the group and I’m sure Richy.
“I see it on a daily basis, others don’t, but if you watch Emerson Royal train every day, you’d think he plays every game.
“He’s just outstanding with his attitude and demeanour around the place.
“There’s no time for anyone to feel down.
“When you see a guy like Emerson and like Fraser (Forster) or Ben (Davies), they train so hard every day, always have the greatest disposition, it doesn’t give anyone else an excuse to not feel up for it.”