Big things were expected of Helenius following his £1.2 million signing from Danish club Aalborg BK, but things didn't exactly go according to plan for the 24 year old under Paul Lambert. Injury and illness, which led to depression curtailed his debut season in Birmingham and as a result he was loaned back to Aalborg for this season.
Despite a reasonably good season back in Denmark, during which Helenius has scored eight goals, including a hat-trick earlier this month against Hobro IK, it appears as though his time as an Aston Villa player is up. Speaking to Danish news outlet "Ekstra Bladet," Helenius' agent Mads Bach Lund has said that Helenius has been deemed surplus to requirements at Villa. Lund said:
" We have had an ongoing dialogue with Aston Villa the last three weeks, and they have made it clear that they do not expect Nicklas after the summer. Therefore, we have also informed us around here in the spring season to find a new club. But we do not hurry."*
It would appear as though Helenius' future lies in his homeland, but Lund has distanced his client from rumours linking the player to a full time return to Aalborg saying:
"He is not in a marriage with AaB, we must look at the total package - what the best is for Nicklas. If AaB are interested in keeping him, we look at the options.
"But it may well also be another club. AaB is not in front of the queue compared to other clubs."
Given his troubling first season at the club, it isn't all that surprising that Nicklas Helenius is on his way out. What is disappointing is that he doesn't seem to have been given a chance to impress new manager Tim Sherwood, unlike other fringe players such as Joe Bennett. If Christian Benteke is to depart this season, Villa could come to regret not giving Nicklas Helenius a fair chance to impress.
*Quotes translated from Danish.