Aston Villa look set to be a real surprise package this term.
After avoiding relegation to the Championship on the final day of last season it was expected that Dean Smith’s side would be preparing for another difficult campaign this time around.
The reality is far more impressive.
Villa currently sit in second position in the Premier League after getting their season off to the perfect start with four wins from four.
It remains to be seen whether they’ll be able to keep up this sort of form, but the midlands side certainly deserve credit.
A huge aspect of the club’s current form is the transfer business that was completed.
Villa completed a number of very impressive deals, including moves for the likes of Matty Cash, Ollie Watkins, Emiliano Martinez, Bertrand Traore and Ross Barkley who arrived on a season-long loan deal from Chelsea.
But while Smith’s squad is undoubtedly much-improved on last term, the additions have left a number of fringe stars facing an uncertain future.
One of those is Henri Lansbury.
The former Nottingham Forest man was limited to just 14 appearances for Villa last term – a tally which is likely to be even lower this time around.
At 30 years of age, Lansbury clearly has a lot to offer the game, and according to former striker Darren Bent, it was a surprise that a club in the second tier didn’t make a move.
Speaking to Football Insider, Bent said: “You have to say in the Premier League he’s not really found his feet.
“He’s not really been able to play consistently in the Premier League and show he’s a Premier League player.
“In the Championship, there should have been people queuing up at the door to get a deal over the line.
“He’s been a really good Championship player in the past. He’s experienced, he knows what it takes.
“I was sure at some stage before the window shut that he would get that move, whether it was a loan or a permanent.
“For Championship clubs, you’d have to say he has proven Championship pedigree so somebody should have snapped him up.”
GIVEMESPORT’S Phil Spencer says…
Henri Lansbury certainly deserves to be playing first team football.
The lack of opportunities with Aston Villa is completely understandable given the recent business that has been completed at the club.
Lansbury is a top Championship player and that’s where he should be playing.
At 30 years of age the former Nottingham Forest man has plenty to offer and I agree that a number of second tier clubs should be sniffing around.
Of course the size of his wage packet could be a stumbling block, but if he’s keen to play football then this is something that I’m sure could be negotiated.
The January window is 10 weeks away and so I’m sure that a move could be on the horizon.
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