Aston Villa manager Tim Sherwood believes new captain Micah Richards can rebuild his career at Villa Park and has backed the defender to make a return to the England setup.
Former Manchester City man Richards has made less than 20 league appearances over the last four seasons, and struggled to force his way into the Fiorentina line-up last term after he left England in search of regular first-team football.
Having moved to Villa in the off-season, Richards was made club skipper by Sherwood and the former Tottenham manager believes the 27-year-old has the quality to get his career back on track ahead of their home opener with Manchester United on Friday.
"We hope this is the big stage for him to show what he can do," said the manager to the Express. "He has been outstanding since he has been here which is why he has the armband on.
"He had very little football last season, but he has had a good pre-season – injury free. If we can keep him healthy, I am sure he will get back in the England squad.
"I hope he proves to be a real bargain. That is the aim. We are delighted to have Micah here and if he can reproduce what we know he is capable of, we are getting him in his prime.