The Argentine has been outstanding in Richards' right-back role for Manchester City and the England defender wishes it was him playing.
"I've watched the lads this season and obviously Zaba has been playing at right-back and he's been my Player of the Season so far," said Richards.
"Zaba's been incredible and he deserves all the plaudits he's been getting. But I can't help thinking I wish it was me.
"Last season, both Zaba and me were playing well so we tended to chop and change and both of us had runs in the team."