Deadline day reports are linking West Ham with a move for Micah Richards from Aston Villa. According to Daniel Taylor at The Guardian, the two clubs are in talks and the Hammers are hoping to seal a loan move with a view to making it permanent.
— Daniel Taylor (@DTguardian) August 31, 2016
Where would he fit in at the London Stadium?
West Ham desperately need right back cover after the experiment of using Michail Antonio in the role failed. He has now earned an England call up due to his form on the wing and it would be foolish for Slaven Bilic to use him as a full back again. Reece Burke left on loan to Wigan Athletic yesterday, which increased the need for a player to come in today.
Sam Byram is expected to be the first choice right back this season and that is a positive for West Ham as he has a lot of potential. Richards will be brought in to compete with Byram and offer an experienced option when required. He is unlikely to start every game, but it was crucial that cover was added at right back as the squad looks short of options there.
Is he worth the fee?
As it is expected to be a loan deal, Richards will cost the club little, especially as Aston Villa are desperate to get him off the wage bill. In terms of wages, West Ham will have to pay more than they would like for a player with Richards’ ability, but as there isn’t a transfer fee involved, it is a worthy investment.
West Ham need cover at right back, as they are one injury away from having to field somebody out of position. Although Richards would be a huge risk on a permanent deal considering his regression and injury record, a loan deal is a good move for West Ham. It gives them time to source a more permanent solution over the next 12 months and saves them some money in the interim.
How likely is this deal?
West Ham need right back cover and Richards will provide an experienced option in the squad. Aston Villa want to get Richards off the wage bill and the player needs a move to a club where first team football is more likely. It is a deal that suits all three parties and for that reason I expect it to happen.
Rating: Very Likely