Chicago Fire Adds Striker Nemanja Nikolic to its Roster

Chicago Fire FC has announced that the club has signed Nemanja Nikolic, a Hungarian international striker as their second designated player. The acquisition of the 29-year-old striker was via transfer from Polish top division club Legia Warsaw.

A Chicago Fire spokesperson made confirmation that the club managed to beat out a number of Chinese Super League teams and the English Premier League club Hull City to sign Nikolic for a three-year deal. He is to be added to the Chicago Fire’s roster for the 2017 season due to the delay of receipt of his ITC as well as P1 Visa.

Great News for Chicago Fire Fans

Nemanja Nikolic, who turned 29 on 31st December last year, joins Chicago Fire after a highly successful year and a half at Legia Warsaw. He is a champion in his prime and among the most productive goal scorers in Europe over the last few years in addition to his on-field talents.

Nikolic managed to score 41 goals in 58 league matches with Legia Warsaw, facilitating the club to the 2015-2016 Polish top flight title as well as winning the league’s player of year honours and the golden boot. He finished the 2015-2016 season as the leading scorer in the league. He leaves Legia Warsaw with the highest number of goals scored in the current season. His relentless pursuit for goals and victory is admirable, making him a fan favourite.

The player often featured for the club in European competitions, registering a pair of goals in ten UEFA Europa League matches in the previous season and scoring six goals in eleven Champions League appearances this year. He scored his final Champions League goal last month during Legia Warsaw’s 8-4 loss to German giants Borussia Dortmund.

The End of a Long Road for Nikolic

Born in Serbia, Nikolic become a youth player with FK Senta. He then moved to Hungary in 2006 where he commenced his professional career with Barcs, scoring three goals in nineteen appearances. In the 2007-2008 season, he scored an impressive eleven goals in fourteen matches for Kaposvolgye. He added thirty goals to his career total in fourty-nine matches for Kaposvar.

Before joining Warsaw, Nemanja Nikolic had spent about five years with a Hungarian club Videoton, managing to score 87 goals in just 149 appearances, finishing twice as the top scorer in the Hungarian league as well as winning two league titles with his club. He, together with current Chicago Fire midfielder Arturo Alvarez, had spent two years at Videoton.

Will Nikolic live up to the expectations?

This should be a great addition to Chicago Fire which had some issues generating any kind of offense last season.  The change of pace and lower level of competition should be a huge advantage to Nikolic, who has been performing at a top level in the last couple of years.  It won’t be surprising to see many checking out the 888Sport info page to place a bet on how successful he is at his new team.

In total, Nemanja Nikolic has recorded 11 assists and 55 goals in just 86 matches across all competitions since he moved to Legia Warsaw in June 2015. Moreover, he has ten multi-goal games which include a number of hat tricks against Cracovia Krakow on 18th October, 2015 and the most recent one being against Gornik Leczna on 18th December, 2016, which was his last match for the club.

As a member of the Hungarian national team at Euro 2016, Nemanja Nikolic scored 3 goals in 23 career appearances. He also had two appearances in Hungary’s run up to the Euro Round of 16 and commenced their World Cup qualifying victory against Latvia on 10th October, 2016.

Nemanja Nikolic becomes the second designated player on Chicago Fire’s list, joining David Accam, the Ghanaian winger. Despite having many offers, Nikolic expressed his excitement to be joining the club, stating that it was the place he wanted to be. Let’s hope he will be able to bring the spark the team desperately needs to compete at higher levels.