It looks as though Henri Lansbury will leave Arsenal on a permanent basis with Nottingham Forest reported to have agreed a deal for the England under-21 international.
Despite consistently impressing during his four loan spells at Scunthorpe, Watford, Norwich and West Ham United, the midfielder has started only once for the Gunners – scoring in a win over Spurs in the League Cup two years ago – while otherwise being restricted to seven cameo appearances from the bench.
Compared by Arsene Wenger to Ray Parlour, and repeatedly tipped as ‘one for the future’, it appears the boss has finally decided that the 21-year-old would be better served playing regular football elsewhere despite handing the player a new contract as recently as last September.
The Daily Telegraph report that Lansbury was at the City Ground yesterday negotiating the terms of his deal and will be Forest’s ninth signing of the summer.
Arseblog News suspects that the Premier League’s player quota rules may have something to do with the decision to let Lansbury leave.
It’s all a bit complicated, but in simple terms, if you’re a ‘homegrown’ talent at Arsenal but not a regular first team squad member as you approach your 22nd birthday you’re in line for the chop. Gavin Hoyte, Rhys Murphy and Kyle Bartley have recently been shown the door, Lansbury turns that age next month, while Craig Eastmond does the same in November.
We wait to hear news on the latter, but if you’re a betting man you’ll whack a fiver on the chicken-loving DM joining the Nandos staff football team before Friday.