English defender knows he may have to leave Manchester City

Micah Richards

Manchester City defender Micah Richards says that whilst he wants to stay at the club, he needs first team football.

The 25 year old right back has made just three appearances under new City boss Manuel Pellegrini this season, and whilst he wants to stay with the club he has been at since he was 13, Richards knows that to further his career, he may need to leave the Etihad Stadium in order to fulfil his ambitions of breaking back into the England setup.

“I’d sign tomorrow but I’ve been here 11 years,” the defender said in The Sun. “I’m getting to that age where I’m not 18 anymore. I’m 25 and you really want to be playing every week. If I can do that here, it would be perfect. I don’t really ever want to leave City, but there might come a time when I have to assess it and see where I am.”

Richards has had something of a stop-start career in recent times, featuring heavily in City's title-winning 2011/12 season, but playing just eight games in 2012/13. Pablo Zabaleta has established himself as arguably the best right back in the Premier League, and as a result, Richards has found first team opportunities hard to come by.

There is always the chance of Richards moving back to centre half, where he has played regularly over his career, but with Vincent Kompany's injury failing to open up any more action for Richards, it looks unlikely that this will happen in the near future.

Richards' lack of first team football has caused him to completely drop out of the running for a place in Roy Hodgson's England squad, with the likes of Kyle Walker, Chris Smalling and Phil Jones now well ahead of him with the 2014 World Cup drawing ever closer.

Arsenal have long been linked with a move for the full back, and with Bacary Sagna's contract set to expire next summer, Arsene Wenger may finally make a firm move for the 13-cap England international. Richards is heading into the final 18 months of his deal with City, and should his situation not improve in the coming weeks, a January move may be on the cards.

image: © Oldelpaso

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