Villa sign Kieran Richardson from Fulham
Former England midfielder leaves relegated side
Richardson almost joined Villa as a schoolboy
Aston Villa have announced the signing of Kieran Richardson from relegated Fulham. The 29-year-old, who can play on the left side of defence or midfield, has agreed a two-year contract at Villa Park with a further years option.
Richardson has won eight senior England caps, scoring two goals, with his last appearance for his country coming in 2006.
Richardson acknowledged his excitement about finally joining Villa 15 years after he might have been signed as an academy player. After being reunited with Gordon Cowans, the former Villa player who continues to coach their under-21 development squad, he revealed how close he came to being a Villa youth player at 14.
The last time I was here I was 14 years old when I was unsigned and the main building here at Bodymoor wasnt here at that time, Richardson recalled. It was a small building then in the other corner of the training ground. The place now, of course, has changed a lot. Its really magnificent and Im delighted to be here.
Its definitely up there with the best training grounds Ive been to. Ive been able to catch up with Gordon and that was nice. Hes a legend here and it just brought back all the memories.
Villa Park itself has always been my favourite stadium out of all of the stadiums in which Ive played in the Premier League. Its got great atmosphere, the fans are magnificent and Im really looking forward to playing here. I know Im going to love it.
Paul Lambert believes that Richardsons pace, versatility and experience will be a welcome addition to the squad.
Kieran will complement many of the players here well with what he brings, said the Villa manager. He will add pace, a great deal of experience and he knows the Barclays Premier League. Hes played a lot of games for a lad who has yet to turn 30.
The grounding he gained at Manchester United has stood him in good stead and he knows what it is to compete in this league and to win things and thats important. Im delighted hes joined us and were really looking forward to working with him.
Richardson will be reunited with assistant manager Roy Keane, who brought him to Sunderland while he was manager at the Stadium of Light.
Roy is top-drawer, outstanding as a player and excellent at man-management. He tells you how it is which is good for players and Im delighted to be working with him again, Richardson added.
Im looking forward to working with the manager, too. He wants to play attacking football, he wants the team going forward and thats great. I havent worked with him before, so Im excited to start working with him now.