Since he has been in the village of Sinsheim for a short time, Bayern Munich Lender Chris Richards has carved out a starting spot with significant contributions week after week for his current club TSG Hoffenheim.
“I am in contact with coach Hansi Flick and (Bayern are) happy with my development and I want me to continue on this path to prepare myself as well as possible for next season.”
When asked whether or not he would return to Bavaria this summer, he replied:
“Good question. We’ll see if they buy someone or sell. I guess for now I’m going back in the summer to show them what I’ve learned.
Richards leaves nothing out of the question when it comes to his development, whether it’s returning to Munich or continuing his stay in Hoffenheim:
“Basically, yes. If this is the best option for me to continue developing. But that will only be decided in the summer. Then we’ll see what’s the best step for me and what Bayern think is the best.
Richards is already becoming a proven starter in the eyes of Hoffenheim manager Sebastian Hoeness. In the American’s three starts in the Bundesliga, his 1.7 steals / 90 and 3.7 clearances / 90 are both the third-highest totals for this current Hoffenheim squad. In his matches in the Europa League, he also played well despite his team’s poor result.
Hoeness appears to have allowed Richards to push the field further than his left center-back position suggests. The 3-5-2 / 3-4-1-2 formation used by the team allows the free movement of players throughout the pitch. At times, in Hoffenheim’s Europa League opener against Molde FK, you saw Richards push all the way to the back of the opponent’s 18-meter penalty area, only to move back quickly to prevent the counters.
Richards is smart about not wanting to rush things, or defining his success by the club he plays for. If both teams think that another year to play for Hoffenheim is for the better, then it could be the right choice for everyone. Otherwise, it is very likely that these performances could soon see Richards return to the starting XI for the first team.