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Report: Arsenal and Chelsea eyeing USMNT prospect Chris Richards

The search for the next great American soccer talent rumbles on in Europe, and Chris Richards has become the latest talent from the United States to have his name tossed into the transfer rumor mill.

English Premier League sides Arsenal and Chelsea are reportedly interested in trying to sign the Bayern Munich defender, according to a report that surfaced on Monday from the Daily Mirror (a report that was confirmed by German outlet Bild).

Richards, who recently turned 20, has continued to impress with Bayern Munich’s reserve team, building on the momentum he gained from a standout performance at the Under-20 World Cup last summer. He was arguably the U.S. Under-20 team’s best player on their way to the Under-20 World Cup quarterfinals.

Bought by Bayern Munich from FC Dallas in January of 2019 in a deal worth $1.25 million, Richards has made a smooth transition from Bayern’s U-19 team to Bayern II, and should be in contention for a promotion to the Bayern first team next season if, as expected, Bayern revamps its defense with the expected departures of veteran centerbacks Jerome Boateng and Javi Martinez.

The Alabama native has impressed scouts with his enticing combination of sharp passing skills, strong defending and elite athleticism. He was expected to be a contender for a place on the U.S. Olympic team if the team qualified for the 2020 Olympics (that was before the Olympics were postponed to 2021).

The interest from clubs like Arsenal and Chelsea should come as no surprise, but Bayern is a team that doesn’t have to sell top young prospects, and could just as easily choose to keep Richards, with the hope being he can be developed into a first-team contributor much the same way Alphonso Davies was.

Both Arsenal and Chelsea have had Americans before, though Arsenal hasn’t quite had one break through as a first-team regular. Chelsea currently boasts Christian Pulisic on its first-team squad, with Matt Miazga also on the books with the London club.

As much as Richards’ status as an American makes him even more appealing for European clubs wanting to tap into the U.S. market, his value as a prospect is firmly anchored in the qualities he brings on the field, particularly his excellent passing and 6-foot-2 frame.

What do you think about the possibility of Richards making a move to England? Where do you think would the best destination for the young defender?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. If Leeds are promoted to the Premier League – they are top of the Championship during the break – then that would be my choice for Richards. Why not learn from the best, Marcelo Bielsa? “El Loco” wants his central defenders to pass the ball out of defense and also to be incredibly fit – “murderball” practice anyone?? – two assets that Richards possess. Bielsa also likes a fairly compact squad, 18 or 19 veteran players supplemented by 4 or 5 younger players who’ll initially get opportunities in some of the cup competitions. He also has a history of playing young players if he feels they’re good enough. Perfect place for Chris Richards in my opinion. MoT.

  2. The wages offered by those clubs maybe too good to turn down but it would be nice if he would go somewherer where he could realistically play for the first team. He needs first team opportunities. Languishing in the reserves of Barca, Bayern, Arsenal, Chelsea or Valencia (though he may have a shot a Valencia) is not the smart choice. Even if those big clubs are willing to loan him out, loans are tricky. Best case scenario a more modest club in Europe signa him and gives him the first team opportunities he needs.

  3. Think moves to either of those clubs would then include a loan somewhere else. I can’t see either of these clubs playing a CB whose highest level of play is 3.Bundesliga.

      • Panda- Well, I do understand that Miazga is a loan warrior, he and Richards have completely different starts to their careers. Miazga was in Red Bull’s 18, for 2 seasons, then a starter for 1 season. Richards never played a single MLS minute! Richards was in FC Dallas academy, then Bayern’s academy, which is what JR is eluding to the B3. Ream, & G. Cameron were MLS CB’s significantly longer than Miazga, and weren’t loan warriors. Each USA CB is more athletic than the previous one. Richards is 3x more athletic than all 3 of them, and he’s only 20. Barring injury, whatever 1st division team gives him an opportunity for starting minutes, will get more of a return on their investment than Richards predecessors. Premier league teams interested, isn’t surprising at all. I disagree, he will be a loanwarrior.#AlabamaFutbolista#Hoover’sFinest

      • Too early to tell early to tell if he’d become a continuous loanee but I don’t see him ready for those big clubs next year. In my mind Arsenal would be more likely to use him after a loan. I did some research when Miazga got loaned and Chelsea virtually never used a player once they loaned the first time, Mount might be an example of how that’s changing.

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