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Former Tottenham star praises Richarlison after turnaround in fortunes

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Ex-Tottenham Hotspur striker Robbie Keane has praised Richarlison for rediscovering the form he previously showed for Everton and Brazil.

The forward struggled in his first season with the London club, bagging just one goal and four assists in 27 Premier League appearances.

However, he has bounced back in style this term, tallying ten goals and three assists in 22 league appearances to fire Spurs into contention for a top four finish.

Tottenham are rated as 5/4 shots in the latest Premier League betting odds to achieve the feat, highlighting the impact Richarlison has had on their fortunes.

They were not expected to challenge for Champions League qualification after star striker Harry Kane left the club last summer, but are firmly in the mix with a third of the season remaining.

"Richarlison has been in good form, and that's what people been waiting for," Keane told Betway. "We know that he's capable of scoring goals because he's done it for Everton and Brazil.

"It just takes time, sometimes, for a player to fit into a system. It was difficult for him to play a lot of minutes last season when Harry Kane was there, but he's doing that now.

"When you've got people like (Heung-min) Son and James Maddison assisting you, you always have a chance to score, and Richarlison been very good.

While Keane has been pleased with the progress made by Richarlison and Tottenham this season, they still face a tough task to finish in the top four.

Their recent 2-1 home defeat against Wolverhampton Wanderers was a major setback. The disappointment was compounded by Aston Villa's 4-2 victory over Nottingham Forest last weekend.

That result moved fourth-placed Villa five points ahead of Spurs, although they have played a game more. Manchester United are in sixth position, three points behind Spurs.

Villa's next outing was a trip to Luton Town (3-2 win), while Spurs hosted and beat Crystal Palace. Both sides put further distance between themselves and Man United, who visited Manchester City and last.

Spurs were desperate to at least keep pace with Villa ahead of their blockbuster clash with Unai Emery's side on March 10.

The game at Villa Park could be pivotal in the top four race and is a game Spurs can ill-afford to lose if they want to play in the Champions League next season.

They have some fairly favourable fixtures scheduled after facing Villa, before embarking on a run of three tough games against title challengers in their final five matches.

Keane acknowledged that the defeat against Wolves could prove to be crucial, and believes Man United may also be troublesome on the run-in.

"It was a big loss for Spurs against Wolves," Keane added. "Wolves are a good team, but those are the games that you need to be winning if you want to finish in the in the top four.

"Tottenham have a chance but Manchester United are going on a bit of a run, and they're always going to be a threat with the players that they have."

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