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Chris Richards has given his first message as a Crystal Palace player after signing a five-year contract with the Premier League club.
Richards has joined Crystal Palace on a permanent transfer from Bayern Munich. The transfer fee has not been disclosed, but has been reported as one that could reach €20m (£16.8m).
The transfer will give USA international Richards his first experience of Premier League football. He has previously played for Bayern’s reserves and Hoffenheim, in addition to his 10 first-team appearances for the Bundesliga champions.
Now, he will be competing with the likes of Marc Guehi, Joachim Andersen and James Tomkins for a place in the Crystal Palace centre-back line.
Speaking for the first time since his transfer became official, Richards elaborated on how much he is looking forward to testing himself in English football.
He told their club website: “I grew up watching the Premier League and grew up of course watching [Wilfried] Zaha, so it’ll be cool to spend some time on the field with them [the Palace players] and be a part of this historic club. I’m really excited for it.
“The kind of project I’ve seen [attracted me]. It’s a lot of young players but also young players who have a lot of fight. Palace is a club that seems like they’re always fighting.”
Richards is Palace’s fourth senior signing of the summer after Malcolm Ebiowei, Sam Johnstone and Cheick Doucoure.
Chairman Steve Parish believes the 22-year-old can cement himself as a popular figure at Selhurst Park.
Parish said: “Chris is a hugely talented young player, and he brings a lot of experience at a high level for his age, as well being an established international for the USA national side.
“I had the great pleasure of spending some time with him and his family yesterday and I know he will be a great fit for the club and I’m sure will become a firm fans’ favourite. Competition can only drive him and our squad on.”
Bayern send farewell message to Chris Richards
For Bayern, it was a case of allowing Richards to fulfil a dream of playing in the Premier League. Their board member Hasan Salihamidzic sent him their well wishes after the move went through.
Salihamidzic said via Bayern’s website: “Chris Richards came to the FC Bayern Campus at the age of 18. He demonstrated his talent in his first year when he played for our reserves.
“That’s why we signed him from FC Dallas, and Chris went on to develop really well on loan at Hoffenheim. Now his big desire is to succeed in the Premier League. We wanted to make that possible and we wish him all the best at Crystal Palace.”
Palace’s season will commence at home to Arsenal on August 5th.
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