Manchester City's Micah Richards has been overlooked by Fabio Capello for November's friendlies against Spain and Sweden
Manchester City's Micah Richards runs with the ball during their English Premier League soccer match against Wolverhampton Wanderers at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester, northern England October 29, 2011. REUTERS

Sky Sports pundit Jamie Redknapp has praised Manchester City star Micah Richards, following the defender's superb performance against Newcastle United on Saturday.

The Manchester City youngster was strangely overlooked by Fabio Capello for the recent friendlies against Spain and Sweden, despite being a mainstay in Roberto Mancini's table topping side, and he was man-of-the-match during City's 3-1 win over Newcastle United.

The aforementioned former Liverpool and England midfielder believes Richards "has improved beyond all recognition" although acknowledges Capello is probably right to judge the 23-year-old on his defensive displays rather than his obvious attacking pedigree.

"Micah Richards has improved beyond all recognition," Redknapp told The Daily Mail.

"Newcastle couldn't cope with his marauding runs.

"But it won't be those attacking bursts that get him back his England place.

"He needs to work at his defending, improve on those one-on-ones against a dangerous winger and maintain concentration.

"However, he isn't getting a lot of practice at doing that at the moment!"

Richards is part of an emerging group of potential England fullbacks that include Tottenham Hotspur's Kyle Walker, Manchester United pair Phil Jones and Chris Smalling and Liverpool's Glen Johnson. All of the aforementioned will be hoping to cement their place in Capello's side ahead of next summer's European Championships, with England still searching for a credible candidate to succeed Gary Neville.

Despite being a shock omission for the recent internationals, Richards' Manchester City teammate Joleon Lescott suggests the right sided fullback has the potential to be the best in the world.

"He's probably the best right-back in the Premier League," The Manchester City centre-half told The Northern Echo. "And if he continues in the form he's in, he could probably be one of the best in the world.

"So I was disappointed for him and quite surprised. He's doing a lot going forward, but people forget how good he is defensively as well.

"I've been disappointed (not to make squads) before, so I know how he felt. He didn't say anything to me, but he didn't have to. He's a professional, and if you're not disappointed by something like that, you're doing something wrong."