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Chris Richards to Crystal Palace: Premier League move gives USMNT defender a more impressive stage showing his skills

It took some bouncing around in Europe, however when his transfer from Bayern Munich to Crystal Palace is finalized USA international Chris Richards will finally have a house. The move, on a deal worth around 20 million, shows what lengths a number of short loan moves for playing time can go in assisting a prospect make their mark in Europe. He’ll sign a five year cope with Crystal Palace giving manager Patrick Vieira essential depth in defense.

When Richards moved from FC Dallas to Bayern Munich in 2018, he was immediately loaned back again to the team to perform the MLS season. He then was kept with the Bayern youth sides until January of 2021 of which point Richards was loaned to Hoffenheim. While he only made 30 appearances for Hoffenheim across a season . 5 because of injuries, Richards’ potential showed, especially his advanced technical ability at this type of young age. Richards will depart Bayern Munich having only made five appearances for the initial team, but it’s hard to state that the move was not successful for raising his profile in Europe, and today he joins the growing American contingent in the Premier League.

Brenden Aaronson, Antonee Robinson, and Tyler Adams are members of america men’s national team that’ll be joining Richards on his scouting mission of England prior to the World Cup in Qatar. Though as the other three have long had roles nailed down with the USMNT it’s less clear how how Richards ties in so the amount of playing time Richards can earn at Palace is quite more likely to impact how he ties in USMNT manager Gregg Berhalter’s plans.

Vieira has generated starters in central defense of Marc Guehi and Joachim Andersen, both of whom played every minute they were designed for last season, anchoring a good defense. Crystal Palace’s 46 goals conceded were the seventh best mark in the Premier League last term, but there’s room for improvement considering how those goals were conceded. Set play defense is really a concern as Palace conceded the fourth most goals from dead ball situations with 16. Sometimes that is right down to facing more set plays than average but Palace actually faced the sixth-fewest corner kicks in the league conceding an objective on five percent of these corner kicks faced.

To place that into perspective, Manchester City were the very best team defending from corner kicks and conceded one goal in 108 corner kicks faced. While Palace won’t reach where City are overnight (as well as during the period of several decades, if we’re being honest) they are able to at the very least start relocating the proper direction. Richards is excellent in the air that could help refine Crystal Palace’s set play defense. Last season he won 58.9 percent of his aerial duels in Germany, which may have already been the fifth best rate among Crystal Palace outfielders besting both starting center backs.

Those numbers won’t translate right to the Premier League, but Richards’ strengths might help improve Crystal Palace’s weakness that is exactly what you need in a transfer. Considering Joel Ward has been the third-choice center back for the Eagles in preseason up to now, Richards shouldn’t have too much of a way to regular playing time either. Along with his center backs, Vieira includes a set starter in Tyrick Mitchell at left back, but Richards has played over the entire defense during the period of his young career.

At Hoffenheim, Richards has been used almost exclusively at center back with several appearances at left back but Bayern Munich spent some time working on transitioning him to back. Because of his athleticism, that is clearly a position that Richards could excel in if he gets convenient on your golf ball looked after is actually his easiest route in to the Palace lineup unless Vieira moves to a back three this year. Richards hasn’t appeared at back since October of 2020 but he logged over 1000 minutes at the positioning across all competition for the Bayern youth and senior sides while there.

Vieira’s top options at back are Joel Ward and Nathaniel Clyne that are solid options however, not ones who’ll take Crystal Palace to another level in the Premier League. Ward can be 32 yrs . old while Clyne is 31, so Richards overtaking at back would make see every spot in the defense manned by someone 25 or younger. Richards can be a conservative option on the flank however when Vieira must find out a defense to aid an attack of Wilfred Zaha, Michael Olise, and Eberechi Eze having stay in the home defenders allows them more freedom in the ultimate third.

While back is Richards’ immediate path to playing time, his five year contract gives Crystal Palace added security should they lose Guehi later on. With three England caps under his belt and only improving by the overall game, fascination with Guehi’s services increase with another good season in South London. Getting Richards now eases worry there and shows how proactive sporting director Dougie Freedman and Vieira have grown to be on the transfer market.

Richards will will have security to execute and not be worried about where he’ll be loaned to within the next season while Crystal Palace are receiving a talented defender who’s only 22 yrs . old on quite an inexpensive deal. Even the national team wins if Richards gets comfortable at back since it gives them more versatility and a possible route from playing DeAndre Yedlin in big games. What’s never to like about going to London?

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