Arsenal and Liverpool likely to clash over wantaway City star

Micah Richards

Recent reports have suggested that Arsenal and Liverpool target Micah Richards is set to snub a new deal at Manchester City.

He won't be the only one, as a number of English players could be leaving the Etihad Stadium this summer, according to the Daily Mirror.

But it is Richards who looks the most determined to leave, with Arsenal and Liverpool likely to swoop should the defender become available.

Both sides have been heavily linked with the 25-year-old in the past and, with affordable wages and several good years still ahead of him, Richards could be the perfect solution for either team this summer.

For Arsenal, the Man City man could offer them a suitable alternative to renewing Bacary Sagna's contract, with the France right-back's future in north London looking increasingly uncertain. For the Reds, meanwhile, Richards could prove an invaluable addition at both right-back and centre-back - with the 25-year-old more than capable of playing both.

A look at the Opta stats highlights just how useful Richards could be:

NameTeamWon Tackle / appsInterception Won / appsAerial Won / appsApps
Jon Flanagan Liverpool 2.38 1.62 1.23 13
Glen Johnson Liverpool 2.00 1.58 1.79 19
Micah Richards Man City 2.00 2.00 3.00 2
Mamadou Sakho Liverpool 1.67 2.08 2.75 12
Laurent Koscielny Arsenal 1.56 2.88 1.72 25
Kieran Gibbs Arsenal 1.52 1.83 1.65 23
Andre Wisdom Liverpool 1.50 0 0.50 2
Kolo Touré Liverpool 1.47 0.79 2.26 19
Aly Cissokho Liverpool 1.46 1.08 2.00 13
Bacary Sagna Arsenal 1.24 1.44 3.64 25
Daniel Agger Liverpool 1.00 0.93 2.50 14
José Enrique Liverpool 1.00 1.13 0.25 8
Per Mertesacker Arsenal 1.00 1.73 2.81 26
Martin Skrtel Liverpool 0.96 1.77 3.38 26
Carl Jenkinson Arsenal 0.91 0.45 0.73 11
Nacho Monreal Arsenal 0.83 0.89 0.83 18
Martin Kelly Liverpool 0.60 0.60 0.20 5
Thomas Vermaelen Arsenal 0.57 1.29 1.57 7

Of a list of Arsenal and Liverpool's defenders, Richards would rank third in terms of tackles won per game in the Premier League, while his rate of interceptions and aerial duels won per match are also impressive.

The only problem with this sample, of course, is the fact that the 25-year-old has only played two games this term. But Richards' talent is such that he is only likely to improve with every match he plays.

Indeed, with the Manchester City defender unwilling to sign a new contract at the Etihad Stadium, he will be available at an extremely low price. And his strength and athleticism, combined with his versatility across the back four and international experience, make him the perfect man for both the Gunners and Liverpool.

Let the transfer battle commence.

image: © Oldelpaso

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