Tim Sherwood will look to begin his recruitment at Aston Villa with the capture of Manchester City defender Micah Richards.
The right-back spent last season on loan in Serie A with Fiorentina, but now the former England international is looking to make his return to the Premier League
Richards, now 26, has had a troubled time with injury and was famously criticized by former Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini, for not being fit for long enough.
Richards now will look to re-ignite his career with a move to home town club Aston Villa.
Villa were perhaps only less notorious as the worst defence in the Premier League last season, than Sunderland. Tim Sherwood, in his first transfer window as The Villans boss, is looking to address this rather thorny issue – no matter how forlorn – and Sherwood has moved quickly for Richards.
Richards was known previously for his strength in defence and aerial ability at set pieces. With his fitness and injury issues, alas, the defender’s confidence has dropped and after failing in to break back into the Citizens’ squad – competing with Pablo Zabaleta and Bacary Sagna – Richards has begun to find his feet in foreign waters. Nevertheless, Richards only made 10 appearances for the Italian club.
Richards has reportedly turned down the chance to stay in Italy with Inter Milan, perhaps because of the Mancini factor. But he has also said no to West Ham and Slaven Bilic and also Sunderland.
Micah Richards is unlikely to transform an Aston Villa defence that hasn’t looked consistently tight since the days of Martin O’Neill and he will most likely have to fight off Jores Okore and Ciaran Clark for a centre-back starting berth.
However, if Richards can stay fit, he will add a bit of muscle and physicality, that frequently has been absent for Villa. With all this said, Sherwood has work to do to pull this move off and make it work.