Ray Houghton explains what Aston Villa represents for Micah Richards

Former Aston Villa midfielder Ray Houghton feels Micah Richards is staring at a great opportuniy having joined the club.

Former Aston Villa midfielder Ray Houghton told the Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast Show for talkSPORT that he feels his old club represent a real chance for Micah Richards to get his career back on track.

The dust has settled on Richards’ move to Villa Park, with Tim Sherwood deserving of some praise for snapping up a versatile defensive player, who has plenty of Premier League experience behind him.

“This lad was in the England team a few years ago and there were big things thought about him and what he could achieve and then he went off the rails for whatever reason – Now he’s decided to come back and this is a real opportunity for him to get his career back on track,” he explained.

Where will he play?

Houghton told talkSPORT about an opportunity for Richards and it will be interesting to see which form it comes in.

He has the ability to play at right-back and he can also slot into a right sided centre half role, next to someone like Ciaran Clark or Ron Vlaar.

That’s arguably where Tim Sherwood should focus on using him rather than slotting him in at right-back, where the boss already has Alan Hutton as a good option.

Can he fight his way back into the England team?

It’s going to be difficult considering the options the Three Lions have in both of the defensive roles that Richards plays.

With the right form and consistency, it’s certainly achievable but Sherwood will look to take the pressure away from him, urging him to stay positive and focus on his immediate priorities with his new club.

Register for ASTON VILLA team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch