Sherwood: Richards is a winner

Micah Richards' "winning mentality" was the primary reason Tim Sherwood opted to sign the defender for Aston Villa.

Aston Villa manager Tim Sherwood said the decision to sign Micah Richards was an easy one because the defender is a "winner".

Richards penned a four-year deal at Villa Park following the expiry of his Manchester City contract.

The England international won the Premier League twice and the FA Cup in 2011 during his time in Manchester, but spent last season on loan at Fiorentina after falling down the pecking order at the Etihad Stadium.

Richards only made 10 appearances in Serie A, though, and Sherwood was all too happy to take a gamble on the 26-year-old as he looks to instill a winning mentality at last season's FA Cup finalists.

"I'm really pleased to get Micah on board and I'm sure he will prove to be an excellent signing for the football club," Richards told Villa's official website.

"Micah is a winner. He helped Manchester City win their first Premier League title in 44 years, has won the FA Cup and has played in the Champions League.

"So we are signing a player who is used to winning football matches. I want players with that winning mentality here.

"We are also signing a player at his peak. At 26, we are getting him when he should be producing the best football of his career."

Richards won the last of his 13 England caps in February 2012, but Sherwood believes he can force his way into Roy Hodgson's plans.

"Micah has played international football for England in the past and if he performs as well as I know he can for Aston Villa then there is no reason why he can't get back to that level again," he added.

"Tom Cleverley's form at the end of the season for us got him back in the England squad so Micah knows he will get a platform here to push for that."