I’m sure everyone is aware by now that club captain Thomas Vermaelen is going to be sidelined for up to a month after a recurrence of a back injury that has caused him problems in the past. He’s also got a slight thigh strain to add insult to injury so he has been forced to sit out the tour of Asia. After last season it must feel like a crushing blow to the Verminator as I’d imagine he had targeted pre-season as his opportunity to prove his worth and win back his place in the first team after losing his place to Laurent Kosielney last season. The injury leaves Arsene Wenger with a bit of a headache with a Vermaelen shaped hole in the team. A player I feel could be the player to come in and fill the void is Manchester City defender Micah Richards.
Micah Richards is a player that personally I’m a big fan of, his main position is at right back but he’s also capable of playing at centreback as well. He isn’t the tallest player in the world but he’s well built and strong. He can run with the ball and is a real threat from set pieces. I’m not going to make out he’s mustard
because let’s face it he’s no Per Mertesaker but he is a good player and his versatility makes him an attractive prospect especially if Bacary Sagna continues on from last season’s poor form. There’s also the possibility that Sagna, whose only really decent game last season was in the middle of the park, could fill in at cb and then we’d have Jenkinson and Richards battling it out for the rb position.
Richards though has had a lot of injury problems that has seen him miss alot of football over the past few seasons however I feel confident in our medical team that they could make it come together for him. If they can rebuild Diaby every season then they could perhaps help Richards out. Price may be a bit of an issue however
with city currently valuing the player at £15m which is £5m more than we would Have to pay for Swansea defender Ashley Williams who isn’t injury prone and has stood out in a good looking Swansea team. Wages shouldn’t really be a problem though as he currently earns around 65k a week which is well within our price range.
I personally think that after working hard in the summer break to try and get his fitness back on track, if Richards can remain fit he’d be an asset to any top team as a versatile squad player, however I’m not sure that Arsene Wenger would agree. I very much doubt he’d be willing to spend so large and take such a gamble on a player with injury issues unless Man City drop their asking price by at least £5m. If there is some room for negotiations and we could get Richards for the price of Williams then I’d be happy to have Richards play for Arsenal as I think If he does remain injury free he has potential and is still young enough to develop into a world class talent and who knows maybe he could be the Aaron Ramsey of our defence.
What do you think? Is Richards worth the punt? As always let me know in the comments or send me a tweet.
Johnny Greenwood ( Follow me on twitter via @Johnny_G86 ) (390)