Emirates Stadium boss earmarks surprise move.
Sunderland star Kieran Richardson has emerged as a shock target for Arsenal as he considers his Black Cats’ future.
Midfielder Richardson, 27, did not feature for Martin O’Neill’s side in their win over Man City on Sunday.
The London-born ace had a virus and has not trained recently but he is also believed to be keen on a return to the capital.
Gunners boss Arsene Wenger is a fan of the former West Ham trainee who was snapped up by Manchester United as a kid.
Richardson has two goals this season and has been a regular in Sunderland’s side.
But his potential sale would give new boss O’Neill funds for rebuilding.
SOURCE: Daily Mirror
On the face of it this move seems surreal at best and absurd at worst but perhaps a move to sign the 27 year old former England international could actually be a stroke of genius that Arsene Wenger produces in the transfer window this month.
Richardson is the type of adaptable midfielder that Wenger values, a jack of all trades with an obvious footballing brain and a player who is comfortable on the ball. In many ways the former Man United man has not fulfilled his potential but a move to the Emirates Stadium could resolve all that.
The London born Sunderland man most regularly plays on the left, either in a full back or outright advanced winger position, areas that Arsenal could well do with addressing this month. Wenger’s injury crisis has left the North London club having to play players out of position and this hasn’t on the whole been a success.
Richardson can also play in an advanced central midfield role if needed and has a solid base of experience having notched up over 200 top tier appearances. The Black Cats regular is also a consistent performer who has matured and learned the value of a good pass over a pointless forward run at an opposition full back.
With Kieran Gibbs and Andre Santos both sidelined Richardson can be used to act as cover and when either of the Arsenal men is back fully fit then the Sunderland man can fill in elsewhere. Given that Andrei Arshavin continues to fail to impress and Gervinho, who also has played in an attacking wide left role, has been inconsistent and is set to leave for the African Nations Cup this month, a move for the Greenwich born utility man.