Crystal Palace boss Vieira outlines Chris Richards’ qualities after Bayern Munich switch

Patrick Vieira believes new signing Chris Richards is a winner and will bring competition to Crystal Palace’s defence.

The Eagles signed the USA international from Bayern Munich this summer for an initial £8.5million.

Richards, who is predominantly a centre-back by trade, can also operate at right-back. He will not only provide competition to Marc Guehi and Joachim Andersen but could also afford Vieira the opportunity to play with a back three.

The French manager flirted with the idea of playing a three-man central defence last season, with the most notable switch away from his usual 4-3-3 coming in the 2-0 FA Cup semi-final defeat to Chelsea.

The 22-year-old had spent the past season-and-a-half on loan with Hoffenheim in the Bundesliga, making 34 appearances in all competitions during his time at Rhein-Neckar-Arena.

He made 10 appearances for Bayern Munich, eight of which came under Hansi Flick, whilst at the Allianz Arena.

“He’s a strong player who is physically really good in the one-against-one [battles],” said Vieira.

Crystal Palace v Manchester United, Premier League, Selhurst Park, 22 May 2022
Picture: Keith Gillard

“His competitiveness is really high and he loves to win [training] drills. He will bring more competitiveness to the backline as well.

“I don’t know if he brought it [his competitive nature] from Bayern, or it was something he had before. He is a player who likes to compete and is a winner.

“On the other side, he will bring more competition at the back. He is a good player to have in the squad.”

South Londoners Palace kick off their Premier League campaign on Friday night against Arsenal.

When asked if he had a preferred starting line up heading into his second season in charge, Vieira said: “It all depends on performances. 

“Of course, you try and pick the best starting 11 to win football matches, but in the next game, you will face different challenges – you may have a profile of players who may adapt more to those kinds of games.

“I’m quite flexible.”






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