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Crystal Palace signing this 22-year-old English starlet on the cheap would be a smart coup

Cardiff City v Reading EFL Sky Bet Championship 26/09/2020. Reading defender Omar Richards 3 during the EFL Sky Bet Championship match between Cardiff City and Reading at the Cardiff City Stadium, Cardiff, Wales on 26 September 2020. Cardiff Cardiff City Stadium South Glamorgan Wales Editorial use only DataCo restrictions apply See www.football-dataco.com PUBLICATIONxNOTxINxUK , Copyright: xGruffyddxThomasx PSI-10674-0054

Why Crystal Palace should target Omar Richards in January

According to Berkshire Live, Crystal Palace target Omar Richards could be handed a new contract at Reading. The Eagles were interested in the Championship left-back in the summer but bids were knocked back by Reading. The player’s contract is up at the end of the season and that has attracted the attention of other clubs.

Profile

Omar Richards is a 22-year-old English left-back who plays for Championship club Reading FC. He started his youth career at Fulham but moved to Reading’s youth setup in 2013. After spending a few seasons at the youth level, he was moved to the U-23s.

He played a total of 21 games for them, scoring once and assisting twice. In 2017, he was finally promoted to the senior side. Since then, he has gone on to make 75 appearances for them, scoring thrice (source – Transfermarkt).

DERBY, ENGLAND – JUNE 27: Omar Richards of Reading holds off a challenge from Duane Holmes of Derby County during the Sky Bet Championship match between Derby County and Reading at Pride Park Stadium on June 27, 2020 in Derby, England. (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)

Richards has made just one appearance for the England U-21 side so far. The left-back can also play higher up the pitch as a wing-back or as a left-midfielder.

Crystal Palace need another left-back and Richards could be a good option

It’s rather absurd that Palace only have Patrick Van Aanholt as their senior left-back option. Tyrick Mitchell has been called up from the academy to provide cover but he is too young. It is clear that the club could use another senior option at left-back.

They should revisit their summer interest in Omar Richards as he is a viable option at this point. The Reading man’s contract is ending at the end of this season, which means he could be available at a cut-price in January.

LONDON, ENGLAND – AUGUST 28: Gedson Fernandes of Tottenham Hotspur battles Omar Richards of Reading during the Pre-Season Friendly match between Tottenham Hotspur and Reading on August 28, 2020 in London, England. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

Richards offers the club options to play him as an orthodox fullback or more of a wingback. He also has the knack for popping in with an occasional goal or assist, which makes him a useful asset to have in the side.

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With talks of a new contract doing the rounds, Crystal Palace should hurry up and lay down the framework for a January transfer. There has also been interest from other clubs and Palace would do well to move for him early. Richards has emerged as one of the best left-backs in the Championship in recent seasons and Palace can use someone like that.

Written by Sourav Ghosh

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