(Picture: Action Images via Reuters)
Aston Villa have completed the signing of Nottingham Forest captain Henri Lansbury for a fee believed to be in the region of £2.75 million.
The 26-year-old midfielder, a graduate from Arsenal’s academy, was out of contract at the City ground in the summer and had turned down multiple offers of a new contract.
Numerous clubs had been interested in acquiring the services of Lansbury, including Watford and rivals Derby, who had a bid turned down earlier this month.
However, Villa has always been Lansbury’s preferred destination, and the man who starred in the middle of Forest’s midfield for nearly five years and made over 150 appearances has now made the switch to Steve Bruce’s side.
A player who is not afraid to dig in and do his defensive duties, but equally prominent at the other of the pitch, with six goals in 19 games this season, Lansbury is an ideal signing for a Villa side that have sometimes lacked the ability to control a game for 90 minutes.
Despite the fact he has been hindered by a hamstring injury that has ruled him out of action since December 11th, Lansbury’s arrival should see him slot straight into the centre of Bruce’s team, and give them an added boost as they plot a late play-off push.
Lansbury is Bruce’s second signing this January, following goalkeeper Sam Johnstone arriving on loan from Manchester United, but his move is another big blow for Forest, with the future of the club looking worryingly unclear.
Last week, a United States-based consortium saw their deal to takeover the club from Fawaz Al Hasawi fall through, and that ultimately led to boss Phillippe Montanier losing his job.
With Forest currently hovering just three points above the Championship relegation zone, without their manager and now their captain, these are troublesome times for a club with such a decorated history.