Richards recently became a new signing for Villa manager Tim Sherwood, who will be keen to use the experienced and versatile player in his back four when the Premier League action returns in a few weeks.
He’ll need to show all of the qualities that Clark mentions on a consistent basis in order to have a big impact on the first team, but he’s certainly confident of what Richards brings to the table.
“He's a top defender. He's quick, strong and aggressive. Not only that - but he's also very comfortable on the ball,” he told avfc.co.uk.
“The lads who have come up against him in training will vouch for all that.”
Strength and aggression
The points about strength and aggression are significant considering the nature of the Premier League.
Richards is no stranger to how physical the Premier League can be, but he has improved in those areas since the last time he was playing his football in the top flight of English football.
It should ensure that he’s difficult to get the better of in any physical dual between himself and an opponent when the competitive action returns.
It will be interesting to see where Sherwood looks to use him on a regular basis.
He has experience of having played on the right hand side of a defence in his career and he’s good enough to play through the middle of a back four, towards the right hand side.
He’ll most likely start at centre back, moving out to cover at full-back if injuries or suspensions make that a necessity.