No competitive football for nearly two years has left this former International defender lacking match fitness, but that should not stop Celtic from looking to sign him in January.
Steve Bruce left Micah Richards to freeze in the cold at Aston Villa, but Celtic should be where he returns to action.
What’s the word?
The new boss at Villa Park, Dean Smith, has only just brought the ex-England international back into the fold with Richards again training for the first team, having not played competitively since two outings for Aston Villa back at the start of the 2016-17 season.
As a result of his lengthy, and costly, hiatus, the 47-year-old manager has said: “He’s not played for a long time so his fitness is not near to be in contention at all at the moment. We’ll see how his fitness builds over the next month or two.”
Two months of intense training should put the defender in perfect fitness ahead of a return, but not necessarily at the club that looked set to release the 30-year-old in the summer.
A risky move worth taking
When a defender has not played for more than two years, there is always a reason why no one has already tried to salvage his career.
That’s not to say it isn’t worth taking that risk, though, but simply that the risk of signing someone who is missing as much match sharpness as Richards would be greater than plucking someone’s starter from their clutches.
The reward to signing the Birmingham born defender, however, is also sizeable, as Celtic would be gaining a former England international with 13 senior caps to his name through a career spanning 295 competitive club level matches.
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