Versatile full-back Eric Lichaj deserves a new contract at Hull City
It hasn’t been a great start to the season for Hull City, with the Tigers managing to accumulate just 5 points out of a possible 18 from their first six games in the Championship this term.
That’s not to say that Hull City have been shambolic so far in the Championship, but the fans at the KCOM Stadium would be disappointed with the team for not being able to convert promising performances into all three points.
As things currently stand, the Tigers find themselves marooned 20th in the Championship standings with only a solitary victory in their opening six fixtures, which pretty much sums up that the East Yorkshire outfit haven’t had much joy in the first month of the new campaign.
Grant McCann, who took over the reins from Nigel Adkins earlier in the summer, made a total of ten new signings before the deadline, with the new manager striving towards building a squad in his own image.
The Tigers lost the services of David Marshall, Evandro, Liam Ridgewell, James Weir, Will Keane, Callum Burton, Fraizer Campbell, Ondrej Mazuch, while others like Nouha Dicko and Max Sheaf departed the club on loan deals as a part of the manager’s squad overhaul.
In response, the likes of Tom Eaves, Matt Ingram, Ryan Tafazoli, Matthew Pennington, Josh Bowler, Josh Magennis, Goerge Honeyman, Callum Elder and Leonardo Da Silva all arrived through the door to plug the holes and bolster McCann’s ranks.
However, most of the new signings are yet to hit the ground running at the KCOM Stadium, and the fans will be expecting to see more from the summer recruits as the season wears on.
Ironically though, the Tigers have continued to rely heavily on some of the established players at the club, including Jackson Irvine, Kamil Grosicki, Jarrod Bowen, Jordy de Wijs, Kevin Stewart and Eric Lichaj.
It is easy to conclude from such a stance early in the season that McCann has chosen to build his team with the existing players as the mainstays, whilst the new signings are expected to increase competition for places once they settle down at the club.
To that end, Hull City need to work towards securing the long-term future of some of the key players at the club, with several stars like Grosicki, Markus Henriksen, Robbie McKenzie, Eric Lichaj, Bowen, Kevin Stewart and Irvine all out of contract in the summer.
The sooner they sort out the contract situations of the various players, the better it is for the club’s long-term goals.
To put things into perspective, the Tigers should strive towards having new deals ready on the table before the end of the season for some of the big names and Eric Lichaj is certainly amongst those.
The 30-year-old versatile defender is a leader at the back and it would be a such a shame if he departs the club for free next summer.
Lichaj, who represents the United States at the international level, is capable of playing as a full-back on either side of the backline, and also has the attributes to slot in as a wide player higher up the pitch.
The veteran full-back has established himself as one of the mainstays of the club’s backline since his move from Nottingham Forest last summer, making a total of 44 appearances in all competitions till date.
Formerly of Aston Villa, Lichaj made 190 appearances for Forest over the course of five seasons, figures which are a testament to his bagful of experience at the Championship level.
Hence, as far as Hull City are concerned, Lichaj provides plenty in terms of versatility, leadership and experience at the back and while Reece Burke, Rob McKenzie and Leonardo Da Silva are all capable of slotting into a right-back role, the United States international apparently looks like an indispensable asset to the Tigers at the moment.
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With that in mind, it should be a no-brainer for them to secure his future at the earliest.