The 27-year old defender left Manchester City earlier this summer to join Villa on a free transfer but could have ended up elsewhere if it weren't for the influence of new manager Tim Sherwood.
"I did have other options," he told Sky Sports.
"But I spoke to the manager, and he knew what I needed as a player to get back playing regularly. He just understood my situation more than anyone.
"He told me what I wanted to hear."
Influence of Sherwood assisted in Aston Villa move – Richards
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