There have been widespread reports that Micah Richards is to undergo a medical examination at Bodymoor Heath on Tuesday as he prepares to join Aston Villa on a free transfer from Manchester City. The former England international also attracted interest from clubs such as Everton, Sunderland and West Ham but it looks like the Birmingham-born right back has chosen Aston Villa as his next club after speaking to Tim Sherwood.
Defence is hardly the strong point of our squad and a powerful, athletic defender like Richards is vital to the Villans’ success next season. Richards can also play at centre back, which shows his versatility compared to some of our other squad members. Furthermore, Richards is very experienced, having played at the highest level and having experienced international football with England.
Over the years, Villa managers have wasted money on defenders. Paying a large transfer fee for Richards, once valued at over £16 million but now believed to be worth approximately £7 million, may have been questioned but he is a great acquisition on a free transfer. The only issue will be his wages: coming from the infamously wealthy Manchester City, he will be used to ridiculously high wages and will probably demand a high salary. However, reports suggest that he will be prepared to take a pay cut of some kind and has even turned down more lucrative offers from other clubs, as he is joining us to get regular first team Premier League football, which he did not get at Manchester City.
Richards won two league titles, the FA Cup and the League Cup with the Citizens but he hasn’t started a Premier League game since March 2014. The twenty-six-year-old defender knows he probably won’t have the same kind of success at Aston Villa as he enjoyed at Manchester City but he wants to be part of a team that looks as if it is on its way up. He will presumably hope that Tim Sherwood can help him to resurrect his Premier League career after a season on loan to Fiorentina. In addition, it seems that the right back would like to follow in the footsteps of Tom Cleverley and force his way back into Roy Hodgson’s plans, adding to his thirteen international caps.
Richards, who is currently holidaying in Dubai, took to social media to thank his old club, which he joined at the age of fourteen, and its fans, which suggests he is loyal. Loyal players are exactly what we need and, as we all know, they’re hard to find in this day and age. We have needed a player like Richards, who offers an aerial threat, is able to hold on to the ball and who likes to dribble, for a long time and, as Tim Sherwood’s first signing, Richards would be a real coup.