Content creator and Sky Sports contributor Chris Hamill has sung the praises of Crystal Palace’s recruitment team as they edge closer to landing Chris Richards.
German transfer insider Florian Plettenberg revealed on Wednesday that the Eagles had agreed on a fee with Bayern Munich of around €15m-€20m (£12.7m-£17m) for the versatile defender with a medical in place – and it now looks as though the deal will get across the line after David Ornstein’s latest update.
Following the arrival of midfielder Cheick Doucoure from Lens for £21m, Patrick Vieira has seemingly turned his attention to bolstering his back line that conceded just 46 goals last season, less than Arsenal, Manchester United, West Ham and Leicester City, the four sides who finished directly outside the top four.
Richards spent last season on loan at Hoffenheim and while right-footed has shown a sound ability to play in either full-back position while predominantly playing at the heart of the defence throughout his burgeoning career and Hamill certainly feels the 22-year-old is another sound pick-up for the south London club.
Taking to Twitter he posted:
Last season, Crystal Palace played like a top 10 side.
This was largely owing to an ????????? defence that put up a better xGA than Tottenham & Arsenal.
Shoring that up with a well rounded, versatile 22 y/o for £11m? Another Freedman monsterclass I'm afraid ? https://t.co/mp3eZdVPhc
— Hamill ?? (@CPHamill) July 20, 2022
TIF Thoughts on Hamill’s comments…
However, he gained exposure on loan elsewhere in the Bundesliga and when compared to other centre-backs throughout Europe over the past year he ranks in the 99th percentile and the 98th percentile for blocks and aerials won per 90 minutes (Fbref).
While Vieira does have the established pairing of Marc Guehi and Joachim Andersen beyond that there is only James Tomkins who can fill in at centre-back as a senior option, so bringing in Richards does seem like a sensible transfer.