Aston Villa boss Tim Sherwood reveals why he wanted Micah Richards

Micah Richards

The 26-year-old defender will officially join Villa on a free transfer on July 1 after his Manchester City deal expires.

Aston Villa boss Tim Sherwood has told the club’s official website that he wanted to sign Micah Richards because of the former England international’s “winning mentality”.

Richards, 26, was confirmed as Sherwood’s first new signing as Villa manager on Wednesday, having reportedly turned down big-money offers from the likes of Inter Milan, Sunderland and West Ham United to join the claret and blues on a free transfer [h/t Guardian].

The Manchester City right-back, who has 13 England caps to his name, has signed a four-year deal with the club and will officially move to Villa Park on July 1 after his Blues contract expires.

He bring an impressive football CV with him to the Midlands, having made almost 250 appearances for City since earning his first-team debut in October 2005 as a 17-year-old, but his opportunities have been limited since helping the club win the 2011-12 Premier League title.

Having spent last season on loan at Fiorentina, where he featured 19 times across all competitions, the Birmingham-born defender is now aiming to get his career back on track at Villa, where Sherwood has every confidence that he will recapture the form that once saw him hailed as a future international star.

"Micah is a winner,” Sherwood told avfc.co.uk. “He helped Manchester City win their first Premier League title in 44 years, has won the FA Cup and has played in the Champions League.

"So we are signing a player who is used to winning football matches. I want players with that winning mentality here and we are also signing a player at his peak. At 26, we are getting him when he should be producing the best football of his career.

  PositionTeamSeasonErrors Lead To GoalTotal Tackles MINSTackle AccuracyTotal Clearances MINSHeaders Won MINSHeader SuccessInterceptions MINSPassing AccuracyAppearancesMins Played
Micah Richards DF Man City 2011-2012 0 38.53 75% 22.69 38.53 74% 58.34 84% 29 2,042
Micah Richards DF Man City 2012-2013 0 56.18 91% 15.45 25.75 77% 44.14 89% 7 618
Micah Richards DF Man City 2013-2014 0 32.2 80% 32.2 26.83 86% 40.25 90% 2 161

“He is a player who can play in a number of positions,” added Sherwood. “He can play right-back, centre-half and also in a three man defence so his versatility is another real positive.

"When I spoke with Micah it was clear how determined he is to get his career back on track and I've every confidence he will recapture the form and quality he displayed before he moved over to Italy.

"He had a lot of choices but I'm delighted he chose Aston Villa."

Despite spending most of his time with City at right-back, Sherwood is believed to have earmarked Richards as a potential replacement for soon-to-be free agent Ron Vlaar in the heart of defence, where he first began his career.

As a player who, at 18, took Rio Ferdinand’s record as the youngest defender to win an England cap, he certainly possesses a great deal of talent and, while it has not been seen much of late, regular football at Villa could be the key to rediscovering his former promise. 

Keeping fit has been a problem for the City product in the past but, having signed up on a free transfer, he looks like a gamble more than worth taking.

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