Did Arsene Wenger Make A Mistake Snubbing Micah Richards?
Micah Richard’s Manchester City hell was ended on Transfer deadline day when he made the switch from the English Premier League champions to Serie A side Fiorentina, a move that will see The England international spend at the very least this season on loan with an option to make the move permanent, providing all goes well. Richards who has made very few matchday squads at the Etihad in the last 18 months has made no secret of his relief to get a chance on foreign shores saying “I would have liked to have continued the adventure with City, I was also offered a renewal, but my objective was to try a new adventure in another European League.” Richards who has had several injuries in recent seasons had found it difficult to displace Argentine Pablo Zabaleta once fit and with the arrival of former Arsenal Right Back Bacary Sagna the writing was on the wall for the 26 year old Defender.
Richards is in many respects the perfect defender, he is powerful, strong in the air, a good organiser as well as a born leader which makes it very surprising that there wern’t many other takers come deadline day. At 26 he is the perfect age and has gained 12 years experience at Manchester City where many expected him to excel, many tipped him for big things with England but for one reason or another. Richards started out as a Right Back and began to develop a reputation for being a powerful attack minded Full back but was soon showing he could play centrally as effectively with this new move he has a second chance, a good opportunity to kick start his career once more.
One club who Richards was linked with was Arsenal who have been linked with the player for a couple of transfer windows and with the need for defensive cover you could be forgiven for thinking this was a certainty or at least there would be interest. However the only deadline day business carried out was the purchase of Danny Welbeck. Arsene Wenger’s side now look very light defensively with only 3 recognised Centre Backs. The exit of Thomas Vermaelen was on the cards all summer the only surprise was his destination, the Belgian moved to Barcelona instead of the expected Old Trafford switch, this showed finally that Arsenal wern’t willing to sell to rivals. Another Defender out the door was Ignasi Miquel who had flattered to deceive at the Emirates and was sold to Norwich City for £1.5 Million. Richards would have been an ideal fit and would have made Arsenal’s defensive options are lot better, Arsenal have a stable back four and with per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny they have a strong partnership unfortunately Arsenal have developed a reputation of collecting injuries to key players at vital periods of the season, this would just leave 19 year old Calum Chambers the only option. Chambers has had a good start to his Arsenal career and received more game time than many expected but being 19 he has mistakes in him. Wenger’s inability to replace Vermalen, which is something he said he would do, this could be something he comes to rue by the end of this season. With Arsenal challenging on four fronts he will need to either find a solution in the form of a free transfer or rectify this in January when he will need to spend again.