Reports from Carrington late evening on the 6th of March 2014 revealed that Manchester City’s young English defender and former club captain Micah Richards would not be signing a new 5-year deal as he looks towards other avenues for regular first team action.
A physically intimidating and tactically marauding full-back, Micah Richards was touted as many as the torch-bearer of the next generation of top-class English defenders. And there wasn’t much to argue about that claim too as at the tender age of 21, Richards was part of the title-winning Manchester City side and had played a pivotal role in the campaign. Already capped as England’s youngest ever defender, Richards was a regular on the international scene too, when fit. Yes ‘when fit’ seems to fittingly stand out in Richards’ case. A stocky and physical presence like Richards hasn’t had the best of times with injuries. Constant injures have pegged back his vast potential from being fulfilled. Once regarded as the future of the English defence, Richards looks as far away from a national call up as the error-prone Wes Brown.
Lack of first team action has often been the case of many young starlets fading away into oblivion without getting a chance to grace the fields and portray their abilities. As reports revealed that Manchester City’s Chilean Boss Manuel Pelligrini is facing a revolt from all of his English players due to lack of first team action that has put their place in the National Squad in jeopardy. Richards is an example of such players. So is moving away from the luxuries of the Etihad the solution for the Birmingham-born defender ?
Liverpool have had a loan-inquiry turned down for Richards in the winter transfer window. With the Reds looking to find a permanent solution to their gaping holes in defence, young and powerful Richards looks like the ideal fit. Brendan Rodgers has a knack of picking up misfits and turning them into players who mean serious business and Micah looks like that kind of a player. Tactically speaking, a defensive partnership of Micah Richards and Mamadou Sakho, just by the physicality of it, looks very intimidating. Another attribute Richards doesn’t get praised for is his versatility. Having played at centre back for Great Britain in the Olympics, its pretty clear that his future lies in the heart of the defence. Pace is one thing most defenders seem to lack but in Micah’s case his pace seems to be under-rated. A Powerful and Quick English centre-back may just be the solution to Liverpool’s problems at the back.
With Brendan Rodgers in the market for a long-term solution to his defence and Micah Richards clearly stating his discomfort at the Etihad, this might just be the kind of deal both parties seem to benefit from.