Richards signs new deal

BIRMINGHAM ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 02: Micah Richards of Manchester City is tackled by Lee Bowyer of Birmingham City during the Barclays Premier League match between Birmingham City and Manchester City at St. Andrews on February 2 2011 in Birmingham England. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

Per mcfc.co.uk:

Manchester City is delighted to announce that Micah Richards has signed a new four-year contract with the Club.

The popular Academy graduate is approaching 200 appearances for City in all competitions since making his debut as a 17-year-old in October 2005.

I've written plenty on the blog the past couple of years with regards to Richards and his future, but at the start of last season he got an opportunity with Jerome Boateng's injury (but for that he could conceivable have been third choice behind the German and Pablo Zabaleta) and his performances were such that he made the position his own, also forcing his way back into England recognition.

Whilst not at the crossroads, his City career was questioned at times and the influence over the last 18 months of Patrick Vieira on Richards has been cited as seeing Richards mature and 'get it ' in terms of what it takes to succeed at the top level.

At only 22 years of age and having made almost 200 appearance at the club, Richards - along with Joe Hart - will also have a realistic shot of joining the all-time City appearance leaders if he can keep a hold on the shirt for the next decade or so.

What is interesting to note is that having signed the new deal, as tweeted by Football Law, Richard's contract will no longer benefit from the Financial Fair Play exemption on contracts signed prior to June 2010 (as shown in this Sporting Intelligence article from earlier this year)

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