Aston Villa manager Tim Sherwood has explained why he signed Micah Richards, insisting the England defender will bring a “winning mentality” to the club.
Richards picked up Barclays Premier League and FA Cup winners’ medals in his time at Manchester City but spent last season on loan at Fiorentina before agreeing a four-year deal with Villa on Wednesday.
“Micah is a winner. He helped Manchester City win their first Premier League title in 44 years, has won the FA Cup and has played in the Champions League,” Sherwood told the official Villa website.
“So we are signing a player who is used to winning football matches. I want players with that winning mentality here.
“And we are also signing a player at his peak.
“At 26, we are getting him when he should be producing the best football of his career.”
Richards made nearly 250 appearances for City after making his debut as a 17-year-old but found his first-team opportunities increasingly limited under Manuel Pellegrini before he left for Italy.
The Birmingham-born defender has won 13 England caps but he has not played for the national team since refusing to go on Roy Hodgson’s standby list for Euro 2012.
But Sherwood feels that Richards can emulate Tom Cleverley who revived his England career during his loan spell at Villa last season.
“Micah has played international football for England in the past and if he performs as well as I know he can for Aston Villa then there is no reason why he can’t get back to that level again,” Sherwood said.
“Tom Cleverley’s form at the end of the season for us got him back in the England squad so Micah knows he will get a platform here to push for that.
“He is a player who can play in a number of positions. He can play right-back, centre-half and also in a three man defence so his versatility is another real positive.
“When I spoke with Micah it was clear how determined he is to get his career back on track and I’ve every confidence he will recapture the form and quality he displayed before he moved over to Italy.
“He had a lot of choices but I’m delighted he chose Aston Villa.”
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