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A move to Tottenham could be just what the doctor ordered

richards_2Rumours are circulating that Harry Redknapp is keen to bring  Richards to Spurs. Redknapp already has options at right-back Vedran Corluka and Alan Hutton, but he is believed to maintain an interest in Richards.

Richards’ career has faltered after an explosive start; he burst onto the scene in 2006 and instantly registered on the nation’s consciousness with a careless expletive during a post-match interview. He went on to become England’s youngest ever defender when he started against Holland on November 15, 2006 aged 18 years and 143 days; he has gone on to earn 11 caps for England but has not featured for England under Fabio Capello. His omission from the England set-up comes as a result of poor from for his club over the last two years. He is believed by many to lack focus and it has been suggested that his rapid rise to the international stage has caused complacency to set in.

Currently Richards cannot get into the City team despite concerns about their central defence. Pablo Zabaleta has shown himself to be a far more dependable player and has made the right-back spot his own; Richards also faces competition from fellow academy graduate Nedum Onuoha. Mark Hughes recently suggested that he was concerned Richards may have already peaked as a player; a worrying thought, given the player is only 21.

A change of club may be exactly what is needed for Richards; Redknapp is famed for his man-management skills and believes he may be able to get the best out of the prodigiously talented defender. However, Tottenham may not be the right club for Richards; Corluka has performed well this season, though he is another player that has been accused of laziness. There would be little value to the proposed move if Richards ended up sitting on Spurs’ bench rather than City’s. At his age, he needs to be playing regularly in order to develop his much-criticized positional skills. Aston Villa have also been credited with an interest in Richards and he may have more chance of playing in that team as currently Carlos Cuellar is being employed as a right back despite his favoured position being in the centre of defence.

There is no doubt that Richards’ career has stagnated, and with Manchester City likely to make expensive additions in the January transfer window he is likely to fall further down the pecking order if he opts to stay. A change of clubs may be exactly what is needed, and if Redknapp is willing to put his faith in Richards, he could thrive under the tutelage of the Spurs boss.

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Article title: A move to Tottenham could be just what the doctor ordered

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