Former England under-21 and Manchester City manager Stuart Pearce told the Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast Show for talkSPORT that he’s got no doubt that Micah Richards will prove to be a great signing for Aston Villa.
Richards was recently confirmed on a long term deal at Villa Park and Pearce has stressed the exact sort of player the club has signed, if manager Tim Sherwood can handle and develop him in the right way.
“I think it’s a really good move for Micah and for Villa. If they can get Micah going, they’ll have an England international on their hands – There are only two players when I’ve been in sessions – Him and Rio Ferdinand, they have been unbeatable basically whoever has been taking them on,” he told talkSPORT.
The best approach for Sherwood
Tim Sherwood needs to initially nurse the player into life at the club.
He arrives with a point to prove after a season in Serie A with Sampdoria and Sherwood can play on that, developing a close relationship with the player through pre-season.
That will allow Sherwood to learn more about Richards and what he wants to achieve without piling the pressure on him to perform straight away.
He’s got to stay fit
Richards has had a bad knee injury in the past and it’s important that he works hard to stay fit, which will give him longevity.
He can do that with a solid pre-season schedule and by working hard in the gym when he’s got time off away from the club.
What’s the best position to use him?
Richards is a player who can feature down the right hand side of defence and he’s a player who Sherwood can use centrally.
The central option may be the best one considering the option of Alan Hutton at right-back and the need for a bit of experience through the heart of the back four.