Winger Traore was left out by Luis Enrique despite impressing for his country at the back end of last year.
He has had a challenging season for Wolves, still being yet to register a goal or an assist in the Premier League.
But Richards is looking for him to shine in their last nine matches and show Spain what they are missing.
“Whenever a player is overlooked for international duty, there’s two ways of going about it,” said Richards, who scored 194 Wolves goals and also played once for England.
“You can get your head down, or the top players can say ‘OK, fair enough, I’m going to prove how good I am’.
“It can give you that bit of impetus as there’s nothing better than representing your country.
“He’s probably not surprised, to be honest, as his form has mirrored that of Wolves – sort of hit and miss.
“But he’s been there before and knows if he does perform, he’ll be back in there.
“Wolves need him performing, too, as there’s no doubt he’s a quality player when on form.”
An upturn in displays from Traore for Nuno Espirito Santo’s side could see him picked for this summer’s Euros.
And Richards added: “That’s got to be his goal. That’s the incentive.
“Everybody wants to play in the top tournaments and in nine games, he could do a lot.
“I’m sure he would regret missing out on the Euros because of indifferent form, especially if Spain have a good run.
“We know he can be great. So, he’s got these nine games to prove himself – not only to Wolves, but Spain as well – and show he deserves a place in that squad.”