In one of the most surprising deals of this transfer window, former Arsenal and Ipswich Town goalkeeper Richard Wright signed for Manchester City on a one-year contract.. We discuss the move and take a look at the veteran keeper's career to date.
Richard Wright joined his hometown Ipswich Town as a trainee and spent six years with the club. In this time he played a key role in helping the club win promotion to the Premier League via the play-offs and saved a penalty in the final as Town beat Barnsley at Wembley.
In 2001, Arsene Wenger and Arsenal came calling and Wright moved to North London for around £6 million. He was signed by Wenger with the hope that he would one day become the long-term replacement for David Seaman but this simply was not to be. Although injury to Seaman gave Wright an extended run in the first-team, Wright's season fell to pieces after he punched the ball into his own net during a 4-2 league defeat to Charlton Athletic at Highbury.
After this horror-show, Wright slipped to third-choice keeper behind, ironically, the man he is replacing as third-choice at Manchester City, Stuart Taylor. During his one and only season at Arsenal, Wright did manage to pick up a Premier League and FA Cup medal but Wenger had seen enough and soon sold him to Everton.
At Everton, Wright was brought in to be the number one but after a number of injuries and poor performances, he had to be content with being understudy to first Nigel Martyn and then Tim Howard. After a frustrating five years on Merseyside, goalkeeper Wright was released by Everton and joined West Ham United who then loaned him out to Southampton.
Wright returned to Ipswich in 2008 and in the two years he was there, managed to recapture the form that earned him two caps for England and a place in his country's squad at Euro 2000 as he won the Players' and Supporters' Player of the Year awards for the 08/09 season. Injury would then strike again and Wright was released in 2010 and jopined Sheffield United for a year before making a brief return to East Anglia for a third spell with the Tractor Boys.
Only a matter of weeks ago, Wright left League One side Preston North End after barely one week into his contract, claiming he was homesick and missing his family in Suffolk- now those with a good understanding of geography will know that Preston is only about 30 miles up the M6 from Manchester. You have to feel a little sorry for Preston as they were not entitled to any fee for the player after they agreed to cancel the goalkeeper's contract.
Wright will be third-choice keeper at the Etihad behind Joe Hart and Costel Pantilimon but more interestingly he becomes the 14th player with Arsenal connections to move to City in the Premier League era. Here is a list of the others.
Brian Kidd (Assistant Manager)
David Platt (First Team Coach)
Patrick Vieira (now Football Development Executive)
Yaya Toure (had trial with Arsenal in 2003)
Will Wright make it onto the pitch for City? What was behind the switch?
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