By Paul Brown
Curtis Davies insists Eric Lichaj would do Villa proud this weekend if called upon against West Ham, praising the right-back for the vast strides he has made in his game.
Davies has been delighted with the way Lichaj, who signed a new three-year deal this week, has come on over the past 12 months.
The former Baggies skipper played alongside Lichaj at the Peace Cup last term and the Guadiana Cup this season and insists the defender's game is more developed now.
He believes he would excel if called upon by Kevin MacDonald on Saturday.
He said: "He's coming on really well.
"He will have benefitted from going out on loan last season, no doubt about that.
"I was in the reserves with him towards the back end of last season and I have seen a big improvement in him and his game.
"I think he'll be a good defender.
"Of course, he has that long throw too. That's another weapon in his armoury - and an unknown one.
"Some people don't know him that well. He can come up, point for people to get in the box and defenders will wonder what he's up to and then he does a Rory Delap.
"He's a solid defender and I think this year will be an important one for him. I think he has done well.
"Considering he hadn't been with us before the Peace Cup, I thought he performed very well.
"Luke had a calf injury and Eric came in and didn't look out of place at all.
"We didn't have another right-back available and Eric took his chance and impressed with his performances.
"Considering we were playing the top club sides in Europe, like Porto and Juventus, I didn't see him get twisted and turned inside out and made a fool of.
"His game has improved since then and I think he'd do well for the first team if picked."
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