The former Blues defender feels a man who “skinned” him many times when on the books at Tottenham would have been a shrewd addition at the Etihad
Manchester City should have looked into signing Gareth Bale ahead of Leroy Sane and Bernardo Silva, says Micah Richards, with the Real Madrid winger still having “a lot to give”.
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The former Blues defender faced the Wales international winger on a number of occasions during his time in the Premier League at Tottenham.
Richards admits to having been “skinned” on countless occasions by a forward who was impossible to catch once he escaped into space.
Those qualities have been showcased during a productive spell in Spain, but they have not always been embraced by a demanding fan base.
A return to English football has been mooted as a result and Richards feels Bale would have been a shrewd addition for City before they bolstered their ranks in 2016 and 2017 with the signings of Sane and Silva respectively.
An Etihad Stadium academy graduate told SPORTbible: “If Bale got past you, there was no chance of catching him.
“There was this one game at White Hart Lane, and Gareth Bale tore me to shreds. The game ended 0-0 because Harty was unbelievable that day. I’ve never played against someone who skinned me that many times.
“Normally, because I was physical and fast, I’d always get back and put a tackle in not with Gareth Bale. He was just on a different level.
“I would have taken him at Manchester City before we got Leroy Sane and Bernardo Silva. I still think he’s got a lot to give. All this speculation about how his bad attitude is wrong – he is one of the nicest guys you’ll ever meet.”
Another superstar performer that Richards crossed paths with during his playing days is Cristiano Ronaldo.
He claims to have kept the Portuguese “quiet on a couple of occasions” during derby dates with Manchester United.
With that in mind, Richards believes Barcelona talisman Lionel Messi has to be considered the finest player on the planet as he is “impossible to stop” when in full flow.
Pressed for his pick between two all-time greats, Richards said: “I have to say Lionel Messi.
“Just because I’ve played against Ronaldo and I kept him quiet on a couple of occasions.
“We went to Old Trafford and I played well against him whereas I couldn’t get anywhere near Messi. He was different gravy.
“He drops into pockets of space that you don’t want to be in. You think you’ve got him and then he just turns so quick. You can’t have a plan for him. As soon as he gets the ball, just try and foul him. Stop him from getting into his rhythm. That calibre of player. It’s just impossible to stop him.
“They are two of the greatest players of all time, the numbers speak for themselves, but I’d say Lionel Messi is harder to play against.”