When Henri Lansbury arrived at Aston Villa, it signalled the end of a big money revolution at Villa Park, for the most part. Villa had finally signed a major player in the three thirds of the pitch, and not just that - but a key player from a fellow Championship team.
A season and a half on from his arrival, Henri Lansbury is a name that connotes failure, not of his own, but that of the club. Villa’s failed transfer policy fell apart. They paid big money for players whom they couldn’t efficiently deploy. Lansbury barely played for Villa last season, and has been forced to adapt his game to find a place.
Now, more of a battler in the midfield, it seems that Lansbury will fight Jedinak, Bjarnason, Whelan and others instead of competing against Conor Hourihane and Jack Grealish in his more natural role, only rotating in for these two when Villa are truly desperate.
It’s clear that Lansbury still has a lot to give to Aston Villa, but will Aston Villa offer him the platform to deliver? Only time will tell, but it’s rather upsetting that one of the teams more expensive, and popular players, is crowded out because of an accumulation of top talent in the middle of the park.