Manchester City’s most high-profile academy graduate over the last decade needs to restart his career after injury troubles and the fabulous form of Pablo Zabaleta have left him sitting on the Etihad’s comfortable bench.
Micah Richards should not be comfortable with the fact he is England’s fourth-choice right-back at best. Glen Johnson, Phil Jones, Kyle Walker and the maligned Chris Smalling are ahead of him in Roy Hodgson’s plans.
Therefore, Richards needs a change of scenery and a full season in England’s top-flight to fulfil his previously exciting potential.
Refusing to be one of Roy Hodgson’s standby players at Euro 2012 means a recall is very unlikely even if he impresses at club level.
Richards, 25, has reportedly rejected a new contract at City, because of little first-team action which has seen him make just two league appearances this season.
Bacary Sagna, a long-term target for Richards’ employers, looks set to leave the Emirates after their late-season capitulation which has endangered their top-four hopes.
Although the 13-capped England international is set to leave regardless of Sagna’s situation, he could well replace the Frenchman at Arsenal.
Carl Jenkinson does not appear to be ready for the demands of regular football against top clubs, whereas Richards was part of City’s 2012 title-winning squad and has experience of Champions League and Europa League football.
The Birmingham-born powerhouse’s positioning flaws were exposed when he played centre-back under Mark Hughes, but he has superb physical attributes and is dominant in the air.
In an average team, Richards won the August 2007 Player of the Month award, at the tender age of 19. His capabilities have been known for years, but his progress has been stunted by other arrivals in his position.
Moving to Arsenal and getting regular football would give the defender a huge chance of making England’s squad for the Euro 2016 qualifiers.
He has time on his side and perhaps his injury problems are well and truly in the past. Training with world-class defenders such as Vincent Kompany will have helped Richards, but it remains to be seen whether a big club decides to buy him.
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