STATS: Why Eric Lichaj deserves new Nottingham Forest contract

Eric Lichaj has been handed a new two-and-a-half-year contract at Nottingham Forest, and the numbers back up the Championship club's decision.

A quick trawl through social media comments suggests that not all Nottingham Forest supporters have welcomed the news of fresh terms for Eric Lichaj.

Is he being unfairly singled out, though?

He has committed to a new two-and-a-half-year contract at time in which few of those at the City Ground are doing themselves any favours.

It is not easy to look good in a side short on confidence and scratching around for positives during a testing run which is threatening to undermine the collective effort.

Lichaj has, however, shown himself to be a more than capable performer this term.

He made his 50th appearance for Forest in Sunday’s 3-1 defeat to Birmingham City and has offered a decent return on the investment made in him over the past 18 months – given that he arrived on a free transfer.

His numbers also stack up well against his fellow defenders on Trentside, especially when taking into account that he has often been asked to play in an unfavoured position at left-back.

  Total TackleWon TackleTotal ClearanceDuel WonInterceptionTotal CrossAppearancesMins Played
Eric Lichaj 46 34 107 92 35 35 22 1,546
Michael Mancienne 42 33 234 147 53 0 23 2,069
Jack Hunt 26 18 32 62 19 59 17 1,265
Daniel Fox 25 20 86 74 16 28 16 1,307
Kelvin Wilson 16 11 72 54 22 0 12 940
Jack Hobbs 11 8 38 23 8 0 4 343
Daniel Harding 9 7 28 21 10 16 8 525
Jamaal Lascelles 9 6 77 46 17 0 10 664

With Forest facing a transfer embargo in January, and with interest said to be mounting in his services, putting a long-term deal in place for loan star Jack Hunt may be difficult.

That means Lichaj will be freed to focus on events at right-back and winning over those who continue to doubt his value to the cause.

Even if Hunt does sign, his versatility will be useful heading forward and he remains an important part of a Championship squad Stuart Pearce is hoping to guide back to the big time.

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