I was out with a good mate at our local pub of choice last Thursday, causing some serious damage to the financial state of the quiz machine. The England Under-21 match had finished an hour or so ago and, being pre-occupied with Battleships 2, I wasn’t aware of the result. To be honest I’d forgotten it was happening until the nicely-placed flat screen above the bar started showing the highlights.
I missed the first goal, but England’s second goal grabbed my attention by the scruff of the neck as I saw one of the England players perform a nice-looking overhead kick. During the celebrations I caught sight of the name on the back of his shirt and it was our new loan signing Henri Lansbury.
I hadn’t heard of Lansbury before the deadline day comments over at WHTID suggested we were looking to sign him. There was some excitement about bringing him in, and people had actually heard of his quality, which is a nice change for the usual young starlets we’ve become accustomed to signing over recent years. “Here, who’s this Savio? Never heard of him.” “Me neither, but they say he is a real star…”
Lansbury went on to score again, as well as assisting two of England’s goals and, if I remember correctly, was voted Man of the Match. It’d be stupid to judge him on this one set of highlights but if you couple this performance with his reputation then we might have something special on our hands. You can see his goals and the highlights HERE!
He’s struggled to break into the first team but that’s no surprise considering he had the likes of Fabregas and Nasri in front of him, but that does pose the question of why he wasn’t retained for this season after those players departed? Surely it would have been the best opportunity to chuck him in the first team and see if he can live up to his billing?
I read that we’ve signed him for the season but have first option on him next summer, though I don’t know how true that is and can’t seem to find any confirmation of it. Just where he’ll fit into our team is interesting. From what I’ve read about him, he could fit perfectly in the centre of midfield alongside Nolan, but that would leave Noble and Collison high and dry. It’s a tough one because Collison is committed to the club and has bags of potential, and Noble has his qualities too, as well as a few flaws, but now is not the time to debate those. Lansbury looks pacy and skilfull, with a great delivery and great finish – more than superseding the slightly gutting loss of Junior Stanislas.
Lansbury played a big part of Norwich City’s promotion to the Premier League so he’s familiar with playing in the Championship. If he is as good as they say he is, I hope he’s given the first-team chances that he cited as the main reason he moved to the Irons. I get the impression he’s one of those players that could fit straight into the team and make a real, exciting name for himself – much like Jack Wilshere did at Arsenal.