Crystal Palace have been fairly active in the summer transfer window, with three permanent signings completed so far, but it seems as if Patrick Vieira is far from done, with recent reports linking the French manager with Bayern Munich centre-back Chris Richards.
According to journalist Ben Jacobs, the Eagles are among several sides interested in the USA international, who spent last season on loan with Hoffenheim, having understandably struggled for game time with the Bundesliga champions.
Jacobs wrote: “Sources tell me Marsch is still considering USMNT defender Chris Richards, though nothing beyond that yet. Interest from Southampton and Palace plus a number of Spanish clubs also considering a move.”
Since signing from FC Dallas, Richards has managed just ten senior appearances for Bayern, although he has been a regular in their youth sides, and made 21 appearances for Die Kraichgauer in the last campaign.
The centre-back, who is also capable of playing as a full-back, would likely arrive at Selhurst Park as competition for Marc Guehi and Joachim Andersen, after they formed a strong partnership at the heart of Vieira’s side last season.
Palace’s only other options at centre-back currently are Nathan Ferguson, who has made just 22 senior appearances in his career, and a 33-year-old James Tomkins, so it is clear to see why the Eagles are targeting a centre-back this summer.
WhoScored suggests that Richards’ strengths include his ability in the air, his passing and his tackling, all of which stand him in good stead to be a success in the Premier League.
USA manager Gregg Berhalter was full of praise for Richards last year, saying:
“Chris is one of our central defenders of the future. I like his development very much. I find the cooperation between Bayern and the USSF to be outstanding. Together we’re trying to develop a great player from a great talent.”
Richards seemingly has a lot of potential and could easily challenge Guehi and Andersen for a regular starting spot in Vieira’s side next season.
The USA international’s physical ability and athleticism immediately marks him out as a player that the Arsenal legend would love to have in his squad at Selhurst Park, and he will perhaps be hoping that the 22-year-old is Palace’s next addition after the signing of Cheick Doucoure.