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Tuesday 6 December 2016

Sherwood backs Richards

Aston Villa manager Tim Sherwood has explained why he signed Micah Richards, insisting the England defender will bring a "winning mentality" to the club.

Richards picked up Barclays Premier League and FA Cup winners' medals in his time at Manchester City but spent last season on loan at Fiorentina before agreeing a four-year deal with Villa on Wednesday.

"Micah is a winner. He helped Manchester City win their first Premier League title in 44 years, has won the FA Cup and has played in the Champions League," Sherwood said.

"So we are signing a player who is used to winning football matches. I want players with that winning mentality here.

"And we are also signing a player at his peak.

"At 26, we are getting him when he should be producing the best football of his career."

Richards made nearly 250 appearances for City after making his debut as a 17-year-old but found his first-team opportunities increasingly limited under Manuel Pellegrini before he left for Italy. But Sherwood feels that Richards can emulate Tom Cleverley who revived his England career during his loan spell at Villa last season.

"Micah has played international football for England in the past and if he performs as well as I know he can for Aston Villa then there is no reason why he can't get back to that level again," Sherwood said.

"Tom Cleverley's form at the end of the season for us got him back in the England squad so Micah knows he will get a platform here to push for that," he added.

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