Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger turned down the opportunity to sign Manchester City defender Micah Richards over the summer, according to talkSPORT.
Wenger was alerted to the availability of the 26-year-old after he fell down the pecking order under Manuel Pellegrini, and saw first team opportunities being severely limited.
However, Richards eventually opted to sign for Fiorentina on a season-long loan, after Wenger pulled out of the race to sign the defender.
Instead Arsenal signed youngster Callum Chambers from Southampton in a £16 million move, whilst former club captain Thomas Vermaelen left to join Barcelona.
The departure of the Belgian centre-half has left Arsenal with only six senior defenders on their books, and the signature of Richards, who has been capped 13 times by England, would have added to the defensive department.
After a promising career at Manchester City, Richards has dropped out of favour, making only nine league appearances over the past two years. However, the muscular defender has made 179 appearances in total since making his debut against Arsenal as a substitute in October 2005.
Would Richards have been a good signing?
This is a difficult one. Three or four years ago the answer would be a resounding yes, but Richards’ game has stagnated over recent years with limited first team opportunities.
The fact that he has been unable to force himself into or even near to Pellegrini’s starting line up is a concern, and casts doubt over his current ability.
Richards though has not become a bad player all of a sudden, and the move to Fiorentina will hopefully see him revitalise his career.
The 26-year-old needed a move that would bring regular first team football, and Wenger couldn’t offer him that, so I’d say Arsenal haven’t really missed out. Richards would have been a good squad player, but I’m not sure he would have forced his way into the first team.
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