Richards arrived at Manchester City from Oldham back in 2001, when the defender was just as schoolboy, but just four years later he was making his first-team debut for the club, and his raw physical attributes had him tipped for stardom.
Made an England international after just 28 first team games, Richards seemed destined for the top and his versatility at right back and centre back had many pundits raving about his potential to be an England star for years to come.
But in recent years, Richards' career has stalled. In the last two seasons, Richards has made just 17 first team appearances for City, and with just two in the league this season, it seems manager Manuel Pellegrini isn't much of a fan of the 25-year-old.
That notion is supported by claims that the Chilean is lining up a summer move for Arsenal's Bacary Sagna, and with Pablo Zabaleta firmly entrenched as the first choice right back, it seems Richards' days at the Etihad Stadium are numbered - and he knows he needs to leave in order to find first team football.
Arsenal have been long linked with a move for Richards, and could plausibly rekindle their interest should Sagna leave, but it's their North London rivals Tottenham who are being strongly linked with a move for the former England international, whose lack of football will see him miss out on a World Cup place.
Spurs have two right backs who currently share the starting duties, with Kyle Walker and Kyle Naughton featuring regularly, but neither have impressed this season, leading many to believe that Spurs will seek to bring in another right back. The advantage with Richards is that he can also play in the centre of defence, where manager Tim Sherwood is already short and could lose Jan Vertonghen this summer.
Richards has a point to prove and will be chomping at the bit to prove that he can still fulfil the potential he showed almost ten years ago - it may be a gamble for Spurs with such little football under Richards' belt recently, but it's one that could pay off massively.