Eastlands star could soon line up at Stamford Bridge.
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MICAH RICHARDS has rocked Manchester City by revealing he may need to quit the club to get regular first-team football.
The defender is fed up with being in and out of the team and says that, at the age of 22, he cannot afford to be sitting on the bench.
A conversation with England boss Fabio Capello has convinced him it is time to move on.
“Mr Capello has told me that if I’m not playing regularly he will find it hard to pick me,” said Richards.
“Being back in the England set-up after so long away from it really got me buzzing again and I know I’m good enough to make that right-back position my own. But that won’t happen if I’m not playing consistently.
“I’ve got no problem with the club or Roberto Mancini as a manager but he knows how I feel. I went to see the boss and told him how frustrated I was.
“He said I was part of his plans but I went three Premier League games without even getting on, started against Aston Villa, then didn’t play against Blackpool.
“Sometimes I’m in, then Jerome Boateng comes in instead, or Pablo Zabaleta, or two of us play. It’s in, out, in, out, mix and match.
“I’ve never really been used to sitting on the bench and not playing and I hate it. I don’t feel it’s acceptable to me if I’m honest.
“We’ve got a ridiculous amount of players, so many in every position who are all top quality and there are plenty of good players who don’t get in at all.
“We travel with 21 and three don’t even get to be sub. You hope the club understands that they have to let people go and not leave them to rot.
“This is not me telling the boss, ‘you must pick me for every game’, I’m just telling it as I feel it.
“I want to be somewhere where I’m kicking a ball every week.” (The Sun)
This is fairly shocking stuff from Micah Richards.
At the age of 18 he became England’s youngest ever defender, and looked in all likelihood to be Gary Neville’s long term replacement in the England right back slot instead of Glen Johnson.
Poor form and off the pitch distractions in the next four years curtailed those hopes, and perhaps the conversation with Fabio Capello that Richards mentions as catalyst for his decision was also a wake up call for his career.
There is no doubt that he has potential, but it is up to him to fulfil it somewhere – and Chelsea and Arsenal are reportedly on the look out for defenders in the January transfer window.
Chelsea have told Paulo Ferreira he can move on, while Jose Bosingwa’s injury troubles have been worryingly frequent, and the lack of cover in central defence has also been cause for concern for Carlo Ancelotti.
Richards’ versatility is seen as a key asset in his potential transfer to Stamford Bridge, but Arsenal are also keen, having followed his career since he was a teenager.
Though 5’11” isn’t exceptionally tall for a central defender, Richards’ strength and leap makes him a viable option in the middle, and could cover for Bakary Sagna and Emmanuel Eboue out wide.
However, Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger may wait until the summer to secure his man – meaning Chelsea could swoop in.
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