Free agent Eric Lichaj is the perfect defensive signing for Leeds United if they can snap him up before Nottingham Forest.
Forest are well positioned to talk top the defender who has just been released by Aston Villa but that should not stop Leeds United from nipping in and trying to do a deal for him ahead of the new season.
Lichaj is fresh out of the Premier League and his ambition right now will more than likely be to get back there as quickly as possible and that’s something that Leeds United can offer him the chance to achieve.
The 24-year-old would not just be a great squad addition for Leeds, he would also have a very positive effect on a number of the club’s other players.
Leeds are laced with examples of superb young players at the moment, perhaps playing in positions which don’t entirely suit all of their natural tendencies.
For example, Lichaj’s stock position is at right back, somewhere Sam Byram played the majority of the time for Leeds last season.
If Lichaj holds down that role, it frees up Byram to move forward taking up a midfield role where he can become more creative but also add defence to the midfield, making the team more solid as an overall unit.
He’s also very quick which will allow him to get up and down the right side of the pitch throughout a match, providing an extra outlet and extra width for the central midfielders to use.
Versatility is also a very strong part of his game and something which has been evident ever since he made the move into professional football.
His best position is right back but he can also play down the left of the pitch just as effectively, which gives Brian McDermott plenty of opportunities to use him.
He also wouldn’t cost the club a penny other than what they spend on his contract.
The fact he’s a free agent means there won’t be a fee so he can talk to any club he wants and Leeds would only have to worry about upsetting Nottingham Forest in the process of getting him.
At the moment, Forest have the edge in terms of his future because they potentially offer a more stable future for the player away from the field.
However, in that case Leeds need to play to his ambitions as a footballer because they are in just as good a position as any other Championship side when it comes to pushing for a play-off place and possibly more next season.
McDermott has shown a tendency so far during his Leeds career to give younger players an opportunity and Lichaj is the sort of signing which would stay true to those values and also improve the team.
Do you think he could do a job for Leeds?
image: © Chris Robertshaw