HENRI LANSBURY: BRISTOL CITY SIGN PREMIER LEAGUE OUTCAST
Bristol City have signed Henri Lansbury, a midfielder from Aston Villa on permanent basis as the Robins attempt to continue their push for the Championship play-off places.
The ex-England youth international becomes Bristol City’s first acquisition of this January transfer window, on a free contract having had his contract terminated at Villa Park, signing until the end of the season.
The 30-year-old signed for Villa in 2016 where he has played 53 times scoring twice and assisting on nine occasions but has seen his involvement dwindle since their promotion.
His lack of involvement can be clearly recognised with Dean Smith leaving him out of the Villains Premier League squad with his contract expiring in the summer of 2021.
Having come through the ranks at Arsenal, Lansbury had a series of loans before joining Nottingham Forest in the summer of 2012, he played 150 times scoring 33 times.
This season Lansbury has only featured in the Carabao Cup, where he played in the fixture against Bristol City at Ashton Gate, as well as against Stoke and Burton Albion.
Prior to that season he did get playing time in the Premier League, with 10 appearances (eight from the bench) without making enough of an impact to hold down a place.
With the immense spending from Villa since their return, it’s surprising Lansbury has remained at Villa Park for so long, with additions such as Douglas Luiz and Ross Barkley.
Bristol City’s midfield has been ravaged by injury this season with Liam Walsh and Joe Williams yet to feature this season as well as Jamie Paterson and Andreas Weimann missing parts of the season.
This partnered with the loss of West Brom legend Chris Brunt has left Dean Holden with an inexperienced midfield including academy players Tyreeq Bakinson, Zak Vyner and former Monaco wonderkid Han-Noah Massengo.
Lansbury probably offers something different to any of City’s current central midfielders as a box-to-box with greater attacking output than his defensive abilities.
Both Holden and Smith have a good relationship with one another having worked together at Walsall, as well as the clubs having agreed deals together going both ways, such as Jonathan Kodjia and Nathan Baker.
City fans don’t all appear completely convinced the signing, with some worries after CEO Mark Ashton confirmed the club hadn’t offered Walsh a new deal.
The ex-Everton midfielder has often been touted as someone Holden would like to build his midfield around and if Bristol City were to lose him without a fee it would have to be seen as disastrous business.
Lansbury will be unavailable for the Robin’s trip to Pride Park to face Wayne Rooney’s Derby County as they try to continue their recent run of good form.