Richards agreed a deal with Villa to move to the Birmingham-based club at the end if his Manchester City contract, and he has promised to the official Villa website that he will give his all and not get by on his past reputation.
The defender said: “I don't want to rest on my laurels. I want to work hard and show what I can do. What I have done at City is behind me now. You've got to earn the right every week to play. You can't live off the past. It's all about the present. I want to give my all. I always give 100%. Fans will realise that about me very quickly. I can't wait to start.”
These are certainly words which should delight Villa fans, as if Richards can get back to the best of his abilities, he can be one of the best defenders in the Premier League.
He excelled in his early career with City, but has found his recent years to be spent off the beaten track, and struggled to impress with Fiorentina last term.
However, he is proven in the Premier League, and at 27-years-old, still has his peak years ahead of him.
Consistent first-team football should allow him to flourish at Villa Park, and in Tim Sherwood he has a head coach who will give him the chance to impress.
Of all the clubs interested in Richards, the right-back made the correct decision to sign with Villa for the progression of his career, and he has entered pre-season with the correct attitude if he wants to impress.
There will always be doubts about his ability until he starts to put in top performances on a consistent basis, but it is clear that Richards is going to give his all to impress for Villa - and that is truly great news for fans for the Midlands club.