The attacking midfield has remained an area of crisis for Aston Villa this campaign and Steve Bruce have identified a number of targets who could bring a vibrancy to the attacking third. Reports indicate that the latest target, which has emerged in the past few weeks, is Nottingham Forest skipper Henri Lansbury.
The 26-year-old has only six months left on his contract and has attracted a host of clubs with his commendable display from the middle of the park. And according to Sky Sports, Aston Villa boss Steve Bruce has made a £3m bid for the Forest captain to boost his side’s promotion bid.
With Rudy Gestede sealing a move to Middlesbrough for £6m, Bruce is keen to cash in that amount in bolstering his midfield. He has recently admitted that a midfielder is high up on his January wish list, along with another defender. He stated, “I’ve got six centre forwards and I’ve got to maybe sell one to buy a midfield player or another defender.”
However, Nottingham Forest won’t let their star player depart so easily. They have already rejected a £2.5m bid for him from Derby County, and after a long chase, Birmingham have ended their pursuit for him too. Hence, Bruce is likely to chip in more than the amount used to initiate the negotiations.
Lansbury has scored six goals and provided three assists this season for Nottingham Forest. His brilliant hat-trick in the 5-2 win over Barnsley in November, in which he was an if the match, has grabbed many eyeballs. A central midfielder by nature, Lansbury can play anywhere through the middle, whether it be offensive and defensive. He has created 29 chances so far completing 519 passes with a pass accuracy of 75%, of which 87% were forward passes.
Another major attribute in Lansbury is his leadership quality. An Arsenal academy youth product, Lansbury has immense experience in English football as he has spent many short-term spells in clubs like Scunthorpe, Watford, Norwich City and West Ham United, before making a move to Forest.
He has 46 goals and 31 assists in 249 appearances in English football. He played an important role in helping West Ham getting promotion into the league in 2011/12 season
Bruce’s Villa currently sit 12th in the Championship table, seven points off the playoffs after 25 games. They have finally found some stability in their Championship campaign this season that started quite nightmarishly. Although a playoff chance is more than over this season, Lansbury could be an important piece of the puzzle for next season.
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