Bayern Munich defender Chris Richards is a step away from joining Crystal Palace, having agreed personal terms with the Premier League side. It is reported Crystal Palace will pay an initial € 12 million for the versatile defender’s services.
Chris Richards, 22, joined Bayern Munich from FC Dallas in 2019 but struggled to break into the senior side, managing only five senior appearances. He has enjoyed good success during the past season and a half on loan with Hoffenheim, registering 34 appearances in all formats.
The eight-cap USA international has agreed on personal terms on a five-year deal with Crystal Palace. Should he complete his move to Selhurst Park, Richards will become Patrick Vieira’s fourth summer signing, after the additions of Sam Johnstone, Malcolm Ebiowei and Cheick Doucoure.
Patrick Vieira keen on defensive reinforcements
In Patrick Vieira’s first season in charge, Crystal Palace looked to play a possession-based style of football. Marc Guehi and Joachim Andersen were regular fixtures in Vieira’s starting XI, building a strong partnership in central defence.
Beyond Guehi and Andersen, Vieira had James Tomkins, Cheikhou Kouyate and Joel Ward as centre-back options. However, considering Kouyate is a midfielder and Ward is a right-back, the Eagles boss is right in wanting a fresh centre-back addition to his squad this summer.
Crystal Palace could use a defender like Chris Richards
In this regard, the potential acquisition of Chris Richards could be very good news for Crystal Palace fans. At 22, Richards is at an age where he is ready to play at the highest level but also has enough years ahead of him to improve and develop further under Patrick Vieira.
The United States international has played all across the defence during his short club career, which makes him an attractive prospect for Vieira. With Ward and Clyne well into their 30s, Richards could come in at the club and challenge them for a spot at right-back.
There is potential in Richards to make the right-back position his own in the years to come if Vieira thinks he is better equipped to operate at full-back rather than in central defence. He can also serve as a competent back-up to Guehi and Andersen at centre-back, whilst improving the overall depth of the squad.
Thus, the 22-year-old is certainly a player Vieira can develop and use anywhere across his team’s defence next season. All factors considered, Palace would be a stronger side with Richards in their squad.
I am Rohan Sengupta from one of the busiest cities in India, Mumbai. A Journalism graduate with a keen interest in sports, football is something I simply cannot live without and writing, discussing and analyzing the game is what I do 24*7.