Nottingham Forest midfielder Henri Lansbury appears to be on the verge of a transfer to Aston Villa, with only the change of ownership at the City Ground said to be delaying an inevitable move.
The Englishman has not featured for the two-time European Cup winners since the start of December amid rumours of his desire to leave and it seems just a matter of time before he completes the switch to Villa Park.
— NinetyMinutesOnline (@90MinsOnline) January 12, 2017
Forest appear unable to match Lansbury’s ambitions to play in the Premier League, the closest they have come since his arrival being an eighth-place finish in 2012-13, his first season at the club.
Villa, on the other hand, have been on an upward curve since Steve Bruce took the reigns back in October, but have stumbled in recent weeks with poor performances leading to a slight downturn in results.
However, they are still only seven points of the play-offs and will hope that a few astute signings in January can propel them into genuine contention.
Lansbury looks on paper to be a perfect fit for a Villa side desperately lacking in creativity from the centre of the park.
This was exemplified in the recent FA Cup defeat to Tottenham; the Midlanders were well in the game, defending resolutely but did not have the guile or cutting edge to create opportunities against an under-par Spurs side who eventually ran out 2-0 winners.
Mile Jedinak and Aaron Tshibola operated in central midfield during last Sunday’s clash and as industrious as they were, there was no hint of a goal threat from either man.
In fact, Villa have only scored two goals in 27 matches from centre-midfield this season, with Tshibola and Gary Gardner contributing one each.
— NinetyMinutesOnline (@90MinsOnline) January 10, 2017
Perhaps even more damning is the record of assists, with only the 32-year-old Jedinak (2) providing any goals for his team-mates from the middle.
Compare that to Lansbury, who has six goals and three assists to his name already this campaign in a struggling Forest side and you can see why Villa are so keen to secure his signature.
If he were partnered with the experienced Jedinak in midfield, someone who reads the game well and can give the 26-year-old room to flourish, then the Villans have the makings of a solid spine to the team.