West Ham have dodged a bullet by overlooking Aston Villa's Micah Richards

Aston Villa's Micah Richards looks dejected

West Ham United were linked with a host of right-backs on deadline day, opting for veteran Alvaro Arbeloa over Aston Villa's Micah Richards.

West Ham manager Slaven BilicWest Ham manager Slaven Bilic

The Hammers had been linked with all and sundry over the summer as Slaven Bilic reshaped his squad following the club's big move to the 60,000-seater Olympic Stadium.

Bilic brought in no fewer than 13 players over the summer and most of the club's business had been done well ahead of the much-hyped transfer deadline day.

But with the sensitive issue of Bilic's insistence on using Michail Antonio at right-back still rumbling on, Hammers co-owners David Sullivan and David Gold brought in one signing on deadline day in the shape of Spain's World Cup-winning defender Alvaro Arbeloa.

Real Madrid's Alvaro ArbeloaAlvaro Arbeloa

Experienced solution to problem position

The former Liverpool and Real Madrid right-back has joined the East Londoners on a one-year deal with a view to providing the team and West Ham's long-term player for that position, Sam Byram, with some invaluable experience.

The move to bring in a 33-year-old has been met with mixed reaction from Hammers fans who thought they had seen the end of their club offering one last pay day to out-of-contract players who have seen better days.

But Hammers supporters will be forever grateful at seeing the super fit, dedicated and popular defender in their defence over another player who was strongly linked with a move to East London on deadline day, Aston Villa's Micah Richards.

Aston Villa's Micah Richards looks dejectedAston Villa's Micah Richards looks dejected

Hammers dodged a bullet overlooking Villan Richards

Richards was one of five right-backs the Hammers were reported to have bid for including Leicester City's Danny Simpson and Wolverhampton Wanderers' Dominic Iorfa.

Richards burst onto the Premier League scene as a powerful, pacy defender at Manchester City but his fall from grace is mirrored by his current club.

As captain, Richards was criticised throughout last season by Villa fans and pundits such as Stan Collymore and Ian Wright.

He even had a long-running Twitter spat with Wright after the former Arsenal striker singled him out for criticism as Villa cemented their place as one of the worst sides in Premier League history.

Luton Town's Jack Marriott and Aston Villa’s Micah Richards in actionRichards in action against Luton Town

'Honestly he's world-class. Buy him and find out'

He also had a heated row with Villa fans after drawing in the FA Cup at Wycombe Wanderers.

Some West Ham fans were disappointed the club didn't sign Richards.

But Aston Villa fans have left them in little doubt that they have dodged a bullet by overlooking the former Fiorentina man with some of their reactions on Twitter to news he was being lined up by the Hammers.

All in all, it seems as though West Ham have avoided making a big mistake in signing Richards.

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