By Pranav Shahaney

8th Nov, 2023 | 5:10pm

Rico Richards Aston Villa debut on the horizon after what he did recently

Rico Richards has impressed a great deal since joining Aston Villa on the expiration of his contract at West Brom in the summer with his performances for the under-21s.

The 20-year-old was initially signed for the reserves with a view for him to graduate to the first team and that may not be too far away.

A midfielder by trade, the Englishman has enjoyed success playing on the flanks for the Baggies as well.

Richards was the pick of the players in the game against Crawley on 7 November, which is under-21s side ended up losing 3-2.

The 20-year-old scored a goal and provided an assist – involving himself in both goals for his side.

According to Sofascore, he enjoyed a 100 per cent success rate with his dribbling – completing four of his attempted four take ons.

He was very precise and sharp with his passing as well – misplacing just two of them with an accuracy of 87 per cent.

Two of the passes he completed were categorised as key passes so it’s not like he only played it safe which racked up his accuracy figures.

He also put in a tremendous shift off the ball – something that Unai Emery would’ve admired a great deal – and may want to give him a chance in the first team during cup games next year.

Richards won five out of his seven ground duels and enjoyed a 50 per cent success rate with aerial duels as well.

He also made two clearances and an interception so he was there in the defensive third to mop up and ensure that his side did not concede too many goals.

The Englishman is yet to make his Villa debut but with performances like this, one cannot help but feel it’s only a matter of time before he is called up to the first team.

In other Aston Villa news, a first-team regular will not return to training for the next few weeks as Matt Law issues a fresh injury blow for Unai Emery.