Lichaj signs two-year deal with Nottingham Forest

Eric Lichaj Aston Villa 2 (Getty Images)

By FRANCO PANIZO

Eric Lichaj’s pursuit for more playing time has not taken him away from England. It has, however, forced him to leave the Premiership.

Lichaj ended his search for a new club on Wednesday, signing a two-year deal with Championship side Nottingham Forest. The versatile Lichaj is likely to compete for a  starting fullback spot on the Reds, who finished in eighth place last season and formerly employed American forward Robbie Findley.

“Eric is a great signing for us,” Nottingham Forest manager Bill Davies told the club’s website. “He has experience at the top level of English football and arrives at an important stage of his career. We are very much looking forward to working with him.”

The 24-year-old Lichaj is no stranger to the Championship. He made 16 appearances for Leeds United while on loan from Aston Villa in 2011, and earned mostly positive reviews during his brief time with the Whites.

Nottingham open their season against Huddersfield Town on Aug. 3.

What do you think of Lichaj signing with Nottingham Forest? Expecting him to grab a starting role by the time the club opens its season? Think he will thrive in the Championship?

Share your thoughts below.

This entry was posted in Americans Abroad, Featured. Bookmark the permalink.

43 Responses to Lichaj signs two-year deal with Nottingham Forest

  1. Colin says:

    Decent move for him. I think with some more playing time under his belt he will be Premier League quality. I do not understand what Klinsman has against him… Lichaj is versatile (he can play lb, rb, and even cb) and has played his fair share of premier league games. Not saying he should be a starter, but it is crazy that Klinsman has not even called the kid up when he has to be as good as Evans and Castillo… Does anyone here honestly see either of those players getting starts at Aston Villa?

    It is not like Lichaj has not gotten minutes either, he played 18 games for Villa last season. Not a klinsman hater or anything, just do not get this decision.

    • SanFran415 says:

      They didn’t want to play him. All the players in front of him were injured. There’s a reason not a single top flight team wanted anything to do with him.

      Eric Lichaj has only played in 62 matches (starting or subbing in) since 2008. He’s averaged about 12 games a year played since he started playing professionally.

      He’s just not very good.

      • Kildman says:

        Get off the crack pipe!!!!!! He’s 100% better than Evens that’s for sure.

        • SanFran415 says:

          You can take your anti-gay bigotry and shove it.

          • Kildman says:

            Where is the anti-gay bigotry by stating the name of a street? Are you for real? Polk is a street and so is Castro. I think straight people are aloud to walk on those sidewalks, no? You are probably in the Haight getting stoned with some hippies.

            • SanFran415 says:

              Out of the blue you ask me if i’m having fun at two main gay areas in San Fransciso and then call me a dope and it’s NOT supposed to be a slur?

            • Kildman says:

              You probably would love to be shoved. Probably have poster of Dos Santos all over your walls and a photoshopped versions of Tim Lincecum looking something like hippi Longstocking.

              • SanFran415 says:

                Ives, can we get this guy banned? Children aren’t supposed to be using the internet unsupervised.

          • Old School says:

            I’m guessing a post was deleted?

            I don’t see a reference to streets in this dialogue.

            • Nate Dollars says:

              yeah, they’re referencing an old conversation. kildman–he’s, well, kind of a troII.

      • That Guy says:

        There was interest from Premiere Teams, he just wanted playing time instead of sitting on the bench again

      • MMV says:

        I think you are definitely glossing over the fact that Lichaj had a string of injuries himself. In addition, he went on loan 3 times limiting his games with Villa. When he played for Villa he had good games, average games, and bad ones. It was a mix admittedly. He also was deployed as a LB more times than not. He is a natural RB and far better on that side. Like many players, he needs a good situation and needs a rebound. That doesn’t mean he isn’t good. Lichaj is just at a crossroads. Forest is a great place to land. Billy Davies is a decent manager. Eric will more than likely be first choice as their loanee RB went back to Spurs or Chelsea (can’t remember which one). The club has some newfound money from some Kuwait businessman and are refining a squad that should be a promotion contender. We will see how good Lichaj is. He has to pass the test but I think he’ll pass with flying colors and catch Klinsmann’s eye.

      • Colin says:

        He has played very well for the United States in games he started in.

      • Nate Dollars says:

        you’re either making @ssumptions or dead wrong on this one, sanfran.

        how do you know ‘not a single top flight team wanted anything to do with him’? it could very well be that he wanted to be a starter, wherever he went.

        and you’ve got to admit there’s a difference between number of matches played in epl/championship and mls. hell, i’ve played more games than lichaj since 2008 (who was injured, by the way). no, they weren’t at his level, but that means i’m better, right?

        and, based on his games for the usmnt (which is really all i care about), he is very good.

    • Rami says:

      I also add that he needed to find a team and get ready for camp not play in the Gold cup with nothing on the line

    • John McCain says:

      Is Lichaj a Polish?

      • Roman Lewandowski says:

        Yes. He was eligible to play for Poland, but now he is permanently capped for the US.

  2. Dan says:

    “Who?” -USMNT coaching staff

  3. ML says:

    Better than Castillo from what I’ve seen. Has different strengths than Evans but against top class competition I think his speed and technical defending would win out. Ridiculous he didn’t make Gold Cup prelim roster

    • Colin says:

      I think that is because it is a MLS only roster really. Plus, he needs time to get comfortable with the new team and the Gold Cup would really interrupt his preseason. Though I do think it is crazy that Klinsman has not called him up once…

      • Annelid Gustator says:

        Six players from Mexican league. Four from scandinavian leagues. Two from England. Two from Spain. Two from Germany. Just less than half the named players are not from MLS.

  4. ismael says:

    with some more playing time this season, we should see him wearing the USA jersey again

  5. Dont Care says:

    Played good in the Gold Cup. No idea how he hasnt been called up yet

  6. Nick4235 says:

    The majority Lichaj haters aren’t really educated on his situation. Some seem to assume that he’s leaving Villa because he’s a bad player. In these situations I like to read the comments of fans in England who actually get to see him play. On Skysports most Villa fans are saying how they wish Lichaj could stay because of his great work rate/ attitude, his versatility, and his attacking prowess. Nottingham fans are consitering this a steal of a transfer. There’s also the fact that he was mainly held on the bench because of Lowton (one of the best young RB in EPL) and Villa really needed to add some more experience on defense. Most people agree that with a bit more playing time Lichaj could become a good EPL back. Example:

    “This is a real coup for the Forest. From a Villa fan to you, you wont be disappointed. All of us are disappointed to have not kept him, but at his age he needs to be getting games. On his day he’s kept Moses and Bale in his back pocket, he has plenty of pace. Getting forward he has a cracking shot as well. As he learns a little bit more discipline he will easily develop into a premier league level talent with the right level of games and coaching. Good luck to him!”

    This comment got 41 thumbs up and 0 thumbs down. He is obviously well respected by Villa fans and Nottingham fans. Lets take a look at outside back depth…

    RB:
    Dolo- 34 getting up there hopefully he can keep healthy in preparation for WC
    Chandler- I really like the guy but if rumors are true that he turned down another GC call up, he may find himself in JKs doghouse
    Evans- Surprisingly decent but is he really an option going forward?
    Beltran- Decent in MLS but c’mon

    LB:
    Fabian- like him at LW but he’s our best LB
    Castillo- Really impressive at Tijuana, hopefully he finds his Nat form
    Beasley- Impressive! Really like what I’ve seen but he’s 31 and his main attribute is work ethic and recovery speed. The older he gets the less he’s going to be able to rely on athletisism. He also doesn’t play LB for club so is it smart to rely on a guy at the WC to play LB when he never plays it for club?

    Basically what I’m saying is there’s holes here where a strong season with NF could see him find his way into the picture. Even if he seems to have been forgotten by Klinsmann.

    • Rufus Macintosh says:

      Nice commentary Nick, reasoned, factual, without exaggeration and put downs, it’s so rare that i had to comment.

    • markwriter says:

      thanks for the skysports tip, I’ve not had much exposure to Lichaj, interesting to read both the positive comments and the significant thumbs up numbers… nothing wrong with the Championship for the development of a back line player. The more options the better for usmnt

    • Nate Dollars says:

      +1, good info

    • Annelid Gustator says:

      Interesting comment, more or less what I’d expect to hear from AVillans about the dude.
      I would quibble with your read on Beasley. His main attributes are work ethic, speed, and wiles–dude’s seen things… c-beams glittering in the dark near the Tannheuser gate, etc.

    • luke in texas says:

      Good to see someone actually do research instead of attempting to run their mouth with zero facts.

    • Michael says:

      So could we say that Nottingham stole from the rich? Ha!

  7. solles says:

    Forest always seem to be in the hunt for promotion, could be a good move for Eric.

  8. Roman Lewandowski says:

    His omissions from certain camps have been baffling (Jose Torres at LB), but his overall omission over the last two years has been even more shocking (several camps with little or no fullback depth).

    I wish JK would explain himself on this, as he is so candid about the situations of other players.

    And, from what I can tell, all of the excuses (lack of playing time, recovery from injury, lack of acclimatization with the NT, search for a new club) ring hollow when you look at JK’s decisions regarding other players.

    I do not believe he is our full-strength starter, but he is a versatile bench player like Maurice Edu. We could have used Lichaj during the games this summer.

    • Nate Dollars says:

      ‘I wish JK would explain himself on this, as he is so candid about the situations of other players.’

      has anyone ever asked him specifically about lichaj? ives?

      • Roman Lewandowski says:

        In one ESPN interview last Fall, he said something like, “Eric isn’t with us right now, but we continue to watch him always.”

        I don’t remember reading any other statements.

  9. Klinsmann says:

    DON’T CAAAAAARRRE!!!

  10. M says:

    I really felt like when he was moved or started seeing more time at LB his game and level of play were not quite at the EPL level of play, but I have always believed that as a RB he could become a good option for a middle of the pack EPL team.

  11. DC Josh says:

    He needs to play. He wasn’t starting 30+ games at Villa, so he had to move. The Championship is a competitive league, and he can easily start every match there if he sets himself up right. He is still young, but these next years are crucial for his development. So, the best thing for him is to play quality soccer on a consistent level. Good move. Forest are a huge club.