What happened to Henri Lansbury? From Arsenal’s Next Big Thing To Opponent Hacking For Luton
A recent viral incident has put the former Gunners’ youth star back in the spotlight, a position he hasn’t held in some time.
With Luton Town comfortably 3-0 in their Championship clash with Swansea City on September 18, all the Hats had to do was keep a cool head and see the game for three points.
This memo did not quite reach Henry Lansbury, however.
Being too eager to get back into action after a foul from Swansea, Lansbury took a big hit on a quick free kick attempt, but only managed to send his opponent Ryan Manning flying.
This resulted in a scrum on the pitch, yellow cards for Lansbury and Manning, and revitalized Swansea to come back and snatch a late 3-3 draw.
Manning then pretty much summed up the incident: “Everyone was a little confused as to what was going on. Luckily it didn’t hurt me, one way or another.”
The clip of the incident went viral almost instantly, pushing Lansbury back into the limelight of mainstream football – a post he has rarely held since being ‘the next big thing’ at Arsenal.
Entering the Gunners’ academy at the age of nine, Lansbury has been highly regarded throughout his youth career, making his senior debut for Arsenal less than three weeks after his 17th birthday.
He played for England between Under-16 and Under-21, captain of the Three Lions until the final of the European Under-17 Championship in 2007 and of the Under-19 Euros two years later losing both to Spain and Ukraine, respectively.
Among his teammates in the latter competition were Kieran Trippier and Kyle Walker, who would depart for England in the senior Euro final 12 years later.
Lansbury was part of an extremely excited group of young England emerging at Arsenal around this time, with a number of them knocked out by Arsene Wenger in the League Cup to have their performance and potential examined.
This team won the 2009 FA Youth Cup, beating Liverpool 6-2 on aggregate in the final as Lansbury started both games, appearing in a midfield alongside Jack Wilshere and Francis Coquelin.
Of this harvest, Lansbury was among the most highly praised. A confident and creative midfielder, in 2009-10 he helped Watford get promoted to the Premier League, before returning to Arsenal and making his top flight debut at the end of that campaign.
Wenger was certainly convinced, handing him a long-term contract and saying of Lansbury in January 2010: âHe will be a great player for me. He is currently having a very interesting experience. [at Watford] which we consider very successful.
“He will come back at the end of the season and train with the first team in the next preseason. Then we will assess the situation with him together.”
The peak of Lansbury’s career at Arsenal came in September of the same year, when he scored his only goal for the club, winning a 4-1 Cup victory over north London rivals Tottenham.
“Entering against our rivals and scoring is a dream,” he later told the club’s website. “Come here [and playing] is massive. I had all my friends on the phone today saying ‘Are you starting? You begin ?’
“Obviously I’m pushing for a place every week, that’s why I want to be in the first team. I just have to keep working hard in training and I hope I have my chance.”
Luck, however, was never properly presented to Lansbury, who, after signing a new contract, spent the rest of his career at Arsenal on loan for the Championship, with no shortage of teams eager to face him.
He has secured promotions to the Premier League over three consecutive seasons with three different clubs – Watford, Norwich City and West Ham. During that time he surely could have progressed to a lower ranked Premier League side, but his contract at Arsenal kept him tied and instead pushed him to clubs that weren’t in the same division.
This has earned Lansbury a reputation, however undeserved, of being too good for the Championship but unable to hack it in the Premier League.
Squeezed out of Arsenal’s first team, Lansbury eventually joined second tier Nottingham Forest, which was spending a lot at the time. He became captain and was widely regarded as a leading midfielder in the league, but could not inspire the club to return to the top flight.
From there he moved to Aston Villa in January 2017, and although Villa eventually returned to the Premier League with Lansbury – he made 10 league appearances in 2020-21 – that was a lot with him as a player in the League. ‘team.
The manager who signed him, Steve Bruce, was replaced by Dean Smith, who in turn preferred John McGinn and Conor Hourihane to the league, before offering several other midfield options to reach the Premier League.
Now 30, Lansbury’s career can be boiled down to the terms in which Luton manager Nathan Jones described him after signing for the club last summer.
“We lost a lot of experience this summer, and with the youth and the energy and all the qualities that we bring, we felt that we needed two things: this real know-how at the level, but also this real top -final quality, and we think Henri gives that.
“He’s a fantastic midfielder, he’s had a wonderful career, has been promoted from the division more than once, played for huge clubs and has a very good pedigree.”
Lansbury, the reliable league midfielder, with the scent of his best days behind him, is now drawing attention for his misguided attacks on opponents rather than his goals or assists.
He had a career that most of those who want to be footballers could only dream of, but for someone so eye-catching and successful in his youth and early in his playing days, it looks like he could have been. there to be many more.
You can register on more than Goals Men forgotten here.