Nottingham Forest supporters have been pretty downbeat in recent times after seeing their side suffer an eighth Championship defeat of the season at the weekend.
Martin O’Neill’s men went into their meeting with Birmingham City at St Andrew’s off the back of their first victory under the guidance of former Republic of Ireland boss O’Neill against Wigan Athletic the weekend before, and thus full of confidence ahead of their trip to face Garry Monk’s Blues. Yet the East Midlands giants were second-best throughout to lose 2-0 at St Andrew’s, with goals from Jota and Che Adams sealing a deserved three points for Monk’s side.
Thus, there have been many disappointed Forest fans up and down the country in recent times, several of whom will be hoping for much better from their team when they host Brentford this weekend as they seek to mount a promotion push in the second half of the season.
And while the Reds weren’t overly busy during the January transfer window, the mid-season market may well have prompted supporters to remember the deal that saw Henri Lansbury leave the club two years ago to join Aston Villa, what with Forest making a £1.93 million profit on the midfielder having signed him for £1.13 million, and then selling him for £3.06 million (as per Transfermarkt).
And given the Englishman has since struggled greatly for regular football at Villa, alongside the fact that Forest would have lost him for nothing six months after his departure at the expiration of his contract, it’s fair to say that the Reds have been the only beneficiaries from Villa’s backfiring decision to buy the midfielder.
Ultimately, Lansbury made the move to the City Ground back in 2012 from Premier League giants Arsenal, what with the 28-year-old mustering only eight senior appearances for the Gunners over the years, with several loan spells littering his time in North London.
Yet he certainly made a big impression during his time in the East Midlands with Forest, scoring 33 goals and laying on 20 assists in 150 appearances for the Reds, including 11 goals in his best goal-scoring season back in 2014/15 as Forest finished 14th in the Championship.
In fact, it was clear just how important Lansbury was at the City Ground given he was made captain in the latter half of that season, keeping hold of the role for much of his final few years at the club before opting against penning a new deal, eventually leaving for Villa in January 2017.
And Forest should be commended for not only making a tidy profit on the 28-year-old, but to earn £3.06 million from a player that, a few months later, would be worth absolutely nothing – and his struggles at Villa further highlight what a good decision it was to sell up when they did.
And that’s because the Englishman, formerly of Watford and West Ham, has mustered just 33 appearances for the Midlands giants in the last two years, of which only three have come in all competitions this time round to underline just how far out of favour he is at Villa Park.
Yes, injuries have certainly played their part in his struggles, but other than regular football upon arrival under Steve Bruce back in January 2017, he has found game time very hard to come by, appearing only ten times in the Championship last term, and only once in the league this time round.
Clearly then, things simply haven’t worked out at all for Lansbury following his departure from Forest, with Bruce’s decision to splash £3.06 million on the midfielder very much backfiring – as such, it’s pretty obvious that Forest have been the only beneficiaries from the 28-year-old’s move back in 2017.
Forest and Villa fans… what do you think? Let us know!