Former Leeds United star Noel Whelan has tipped Henri Lansbury to make a sensational return to Nottingham Forest before the dealing for transfers closes for Championship clubs.
Lansbury has fallen way off the radar in Dean Smith’s squad and hasn’t made the bench for any Premier League fixture this season.
A City Ground return for the 28-year-old would be a decision that would undoubtedly divide the Forest supporters – but is there enough to suggest he’d be ideal for the club at this moment in time?
The central midfielder didn’t exactly cover himself in glory when he departed the Reds. Speculation over playing golf whilst Forest were playing was rife in the press, whilst he was openly keen to move to Villa towards the end of his time on Trentside.
The grass hasn’t really proved to be greener at Villa Park, however, with injuries and regular game time hampering his progress.
Since his £2.75 million move from Forest in 2017, Lansbury has played just 5 times with a number of those appearances coming in cup competitions or as a substitute.
That in itself would represent a risk for the Reds but there is something about signing Lansbury that would be quite intriguing.
Although Forest have a decent amount of central midfielders, Lansbury would perhaps offer something more in an attack-minded sense.
The man who joined the Reds from Arsenal often gets an unfair deal with some supporters for his performances when played out of position.
Stuart Pearce, in particular, often utilised Lansbury as the midfield anchor with Robert Tesche bombing forward, which quite frankly, made zero sense at all.
Any club who signs the Villa man and plays him properly allowing him the freedom to roam will reap the rewards with the £40,000-a-week Lansbury.
In 150 games for the Reds, he scored 33 goals and registered 20 assists and he might see the chance to return to Forest as an opportunity to set some records straight.
Of course, the jury would remain out and he’d have to grovel in the shape of some seriously impressive performances to win some of his biggest critics over.
At Championship level, however, Lansbury is still a decent player and Chris Hughton could do a lot worse than seal a return for the former Forest man.