LEEDS United’s npower Championship promotion drive has been boosted by the arrival of Aston Villa defender Eric Lichaj.

The 22-year-old United States international, who made his Villa debut in a Europa League qualifying match against Rapid Vienna in August and has since made a further seven appearances, including five in the Premier League, has joined Leeds on a month’s loan.

After previous loan stints at Lincoln City and Leyton Orient, Lichaj is likely to go straight into the squad for Leeds’ visit to Bristol City tomorrow.

Said United boss Simon Grayson: “We’re delighted Aston Villa have agreed to let him come.

“He is a player that they have high hopes for and they believe him coming to Leeds will be beneficial for him and us.

“A few other Championship clubs were interested so we are delighted to get a player that has played international football at different levels.”

Leeds’ hopes of prising a maximum haul from Ashton Gate will have been lifted by the midweek international fixtures in which Elland Road men made an impact.

Striker Davide Somma scored his first international goal for South Africa in the 2-0 triumph over Kenya, while wideman Robert Snodgrass was awarded his first Scotland cap as a substitute in the 3-0 Home Nations’ demolition of Northern Ireland to achieve “his childhood dream”.

Tomorrow’s hosts the Robins have undergone a recent improvement in form after several flurries in the transfer market before the January window closed.

Among the new recruits Leeds need to guard against is former York City winger Martyn Woolford who arrived from Scunthorpe.