Bayern Munich have confirmed that 23-year-old England youth international Omar Richards will join the club from English Championship outfit Reading this summer.
bundesliga.com has everything you need to know about the latest young Englishman swapping Blighty for the German top flight…
Club: Bayern Munich
Country: England (1 U21 cap)
Born in the South London Borough of Lewisham on 15 February 1998, Richards crossed ever so slightly north of the river to join English Premier League side Fulham's academy as a youngster before being released by the club at 16 in 2016. Shortly after, he moved an hour west along the UK's M4 to join Reading, where he signed his first professional terms in July that same year, having impressed in both the club's U18 and U21 sides.
By the start of Reading's 2017/18 Championship campaign, Richards was in the first-team reckoning and made his professional league debut as a substitute in their 2-0 opening day defeat to Queen's Park Rangers on 5 August 2017. His full debut followed in October, as did Richards' maiden professional goal in February - finding the back of the net just five days after turning 20 in the 1-1 draw with Nottingham Forest. His second senior goal two weeks later made it two in three games.
By the start of the 2019/20 season Richards had established himself as a regular at Reading, whether donning duties at left-back or left midfield and, by August 2019, he received a first international call-up when selected for England U21 duty. Richards made his England U21 debut in the 2-2 draw with Slovenia a month later and went on to make 28 first-team appearances for Reading that term. He leaves the club after five years and over 100 games for the Berkshire outfit.
Plays a bit like: Alphonso Davies
It's clear to see why Bayern have turned to Richards as cover and competition for Davies at left-back. Physically, Richards' 5'7" frame quite literally doesn't stand up to the 6'0" Davies, but Bayern's latest import does centre his game on relentless work rate, enviable athleticism, pace and dribbling - as does Davies. Like his new teammate, he's also more than capable of plying his trade further forward as a winger. With that said, and although the similarities are evident, Richards does still have some way to go in catching up with the development of one of the Bundesliga's fastest players on record.
Watch: Alphonso Davies, Bayern's two-world superstar
Did you know?
Two of Richards' compatriots have represented Bayern previously in the Bundesliga, although both Owen Hargreaves (42 England caps) and Jamal Musiala (2 England U21 caps) were born in Calgary and Stuttgart respectively. Kaarst-born Bright Arrey-Mbi - who has already featured in the UEFA Champions League but not yet the domestic league for Bayern - also represented England at youth international level, having moved there at a young age, while Mark Hughes (Wales) and Alan McInally (Scotland) are the other Brits to have played in the German top-flight for the record champions.
What they're saying
"Omar is a left-back with a lot of quality on the ball, pace and real drive going forward – and those are attributes which every team in football is looking for in a player." - Former Reading coach and ex-Netherlands international Jaap Stam
"It tells you about how great Omar has been so far. I'm so happy for him that a great team is linked and have seen his great potential and performances so far." - Current Reading coach Veljko Paunovic
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