Richards said: "It is not just about his tricks. He has got a good work rate, he works for the team.
"He could have been a star who came here and cared about himself but he really cares about the team and wants us to do well."
City return to Premier League action on Sunday when they face fellow UEFA Cup contenders Portsmouth and Richards is excited about the future at Eastlands.
The proposed £210million takeover by the Abu Dhabi United Group is expected to be completed soon and will give the club some exceptional muscle in the transfer market.
Richards, who graduated to the first team from the academy, said: "This is a great place to be at the moment. I've always said we are going to do something.
"Hopefully with the financial backing we are getting we can go out and win a trophy.
"Last season we got off to a good start but then faded. This time we want a good start and to carry it on right to the end."