One Aston Villa man who took his opportunity to impress in our recent pre-season friendly out in the United States against Minnesota was Henri Lansbury.
The 28-year-old former Nottingham Forest man hasn’t had the best of times since he made the switch to Villa Park back in the January 2017 transfer window as he’s been heavily hit with injuries and has only managed 26 starting appearances with nine more showings from the bench. But having occasionally shown flashes of his early form at the City Ground, his goal in the second half of the game, as he arrived late in the box to pounce, was in many ways a flashback to what made his name in the first place.
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He certainly received the praise on social media from fans as they took in his efforts in the second half of the game, and whilst I haven’t agreed with much of what Darren Bent has had to say lately, I think he’s spot on in suggesting that Lansbury will be looking to make his mark this year to make up for some lost time.
“I’m sure he’s going to be kicking and fighting and working really hard to make sure he does that. I don’t think he’s got much Premier League experience and if you’re an aspiring footballer, there’s no point racking up 100s and 100s of caps in the Championship. He’s going to be desperate to get in the Villa side. He’s got the ability, we’ve seen it over the years for Nottingham Forest and Villa, he’s got the ability to sustain it. It’s just about getting that opportunity, showing in pre-season, impressing Dean Smith and trying to stay in there.”
To give us the best chance possible of having a decent and comfortable season, with anything above top flight consolidation being a bonus, we’ll need every player to take their chance when they get the call and in terms of his goalscoring ability, Lansbury for me is more suited to the top flight game, so he should be able to make it count more.