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Scout Report: Micah Richards

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Who is Micah Richards?

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Full Name

Micah Lincoln Richards

Date & Place Of Birth

Micah was born on the 24th of June 1988 in Birmingham, England.

Playing History

Generally when I do these scout reports on potential signings, it's with the mindset that most of the readers won't know a great deal about the player, but with Richards we'll make an exception - anyone that has followed the Premier League for the past decade or so will know exactly who he is.

Even though he's just turned twenty-eight, it feels as though Micah has been around forever.

At the age of seventeen he was given his first team debut for Manchester City by manager Stuart Pearce and it was instantly clear that he was a very bright prospect - he was physically hulking, incredibly athletic and great going forward at right back. Understandably this meant Micah attracted interest from bigger clubs, but Manchester City held strong and managed to keep a hold on a player who many felt had his best years ahead of him.

Richards became a first team regular over the years that followed, winning the Premier League in 2011/2012, but eventually he lost his place entirely to Pablo Zabaleta and then fell completely out of favour at the Etihad.

After an uninspiring loan move to Fiorentina, Richards was released by Manchester City before being snapped up by Aston Villa at the start of last season. The less said about his time there, the better.

At the age of just eighteen Richards made his debut for England, replacing the ageing Gary Neville, and over a six year period he made thirteen senior appearances for his country. Micah's last England call up was in 2012.

Physically, What Is He Like?

He's a beast. Though he isn't the tallest defender around, he is very imposing. He's quick, bulky and strong - the perfect attributes for a Premier League defender, you'd imagine.

What Has Been Said?

Well, the rumours doing the rounds this week is that Sunderland are prepared to meet a release clause of five million pounds in order to buy the player from Aston Villa, who following their relegation to the Championship would probably welcome the money.

How Did He Fare Last Season?

Well... terribly, if we are being honest.

Aston Villa had a disastrous Premier League campaign last season which resulted in them finishing 20th, and as Villa captain it was Richards who has taken the brunt of the blame and abuse from the media and their fans.

Villa sold off their best two players last summer and re-invested the money horribly. That said, they should never have capitulated like they did, and with his partner Joleon Lescott Micah completely under-performed.

With last season still fresh in the mind, many Sunderland fans are skeptical about the prospect of signing a player who hasn't had a very successful spell for quite some time.

Where Would He Fit Into David Moyes' Squad?

Primarily as a right back.

Richards is a far better full back than he is a central defender but, if needed, he can provide cover in the middle and that will appeal to David Moyes, particularly when you consider the sketchy injury records of Younes Kaboul and John O'Shea.

Injury History

Micah has only had one serious injury, and that was over three years ago. Sunderland need defenders that they can rely upon to stay fit - particularly ones that cover more than one position.

rdxr

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Conclusion

People are right to be undecided on signing a player that hasn't really shown his worth in recent years, but personally I'm all for us taking a gamble on him.

When you see some of the money that other top flight clubs are spending on players - Bournemouth spent six million pounds on Brad Smith yesterday, for example - then you have to ask yourself if it's really that much of a risk if we do opt to sign Micah Richards.

As I've already noted in this article, he's rarely injured and can play more than one position. He's got over ten years of experience (mostly in the Premier League), is a good age and is at the point where he needs to succeed at his next club for the sake of his career.

For me, I feel it's a no-brainer. Richards might have struggled at Aston Villa last season but it doesn't define him in my eyes. He'd be an improvement on Billy Jones, and when you consider what we'll recoup from the sale of Adam Matthews along with the fee received from the FA for Sam Allardyce, it's not going to put much of a dent in the transfer kitty that is at the disposal of David Moyes.