Zabaleta: Richards for England!

While he may not be the biggest star in the Manchester City team, it was clear to see that Micah Richards’ return to the squad was hugely significant as the Blues strolled to a 3-0 victory over Sunderland on Saturday. Following the win, Pablo Zabaleta claims that his teammate should definitely be considered for the England squad as he is a “fantastic player”.

Richards had missed the opening months of the season due to an ankle injury and many thought that he would find it difficult to regain his place in Roberto Mancini’s team following recent transfer activity. However, Mancini opted to throw the 24-year-old right in at the deep end and included him in the starting eleven against the Black Cats. Suffice to say, Richards was as comfortable as ever and put in a performance that should ensure he keeps the position for the foreseeable future.

Following on from this performance, Zabaleta has called on Roy Hodgson to include the defender in his next England squad. Speaking to the press, the Argentine said, “I think he’s a fantastic player and deserves to be in the national team. He’s young, he’s strong and he can give to England what he gives to us. Terry’s not in the international team anymore, so maybe that is a good chance for Micah to get into the England side again.”

However, whether or not Richards manages to establish himself in the national team again is another matter. For the time being at least, he appears to be on Roy Hodgson’s black list although his chances certainly weren’t done any favours when he decided to go on holiday in the summer, rather than wait on the standby list for Euro 2012. Nevertheless, with Terry now out of the reckoning, Richards may be given another chance to make an impact for the Three Lions.

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