By 90Min
March 01, 2018

He's a Premier League winner and an England international, but defender Micah Richards has not made an appearance for Championship side Aston Villa in over 500 days, even though he is fit to play. 

He started Steve Bruce's first game in charge, against Wolves, in October 2016, but was forced off with a calf injury in the 66th minute, and has not taken to the pitch since. 

Despite not featuring, a source in the Villa training ground told the Daily Mail that Richards is a positive influence in the changing room.

"He's probably the nicest player I've worked with, the staff love him. He is very popular, and always has a smile on his face." They said

The report in the Daily Mail suggests that Villa manager Steve Bruce does not believe that the 29-year-old is fit enough to cope with playing two games a week in the Championship due to an ongoing knee issue. While the player trains fully with the first team at the training ground, he has not yet featured in a first-team game this season. 

Richards and Bruce have held talks over the players game time, with Richards reportedly especially unhappy at being left out of the Carabao Cup tie with Wigan, when players who were not getting regular game time were given a chance to show what they could do. 

The defender's contract at Villa runs until 2019, so if he is unable to secure a move away from Villa Park in the next two transfer windows, he could face up to another eighteen months on the sideline. 

(You May Also Be Interested in: 5 Players Who Need a Strong End to Their Season to Secure Their Future at Aston Villa)

Villa are going well in the Championship, currently sitting in 3rd place in the table, four points from an automatic promotion spot, and are hoping to be playing Premier League football again next season. 

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