2017 has certainly started with a bang for Nottingham Forest, following the news that Henri Lansbury could be off to Derby County.
Lansbury is a colourful character who divides opinion among Forest fans, a kind of Marmite player if you will.
It’s no secret that I have a love/hate perspective of the lad, he goes from the sublime to the ridiculous and there is never a dull moment when he’s around.
The only surprising element of this latest transfer rumour is that it doesn’t involve Burnley; but there is a touch of “Groundhog Day” about it all.
Every time the midfielder’s contract is almost up, he seems to apply himself a bit more than usual, application is the key word here for me. The marathon of televised games has highlighted Lansbury’s talents and he’s certainly put himself in the window once more.
Before anyone thinks that I’m going to give him a major dressing down, let it be said that when he does apply himself, he’s certainly got the quality to back it up.
For the record, he has more ability in his right toe than I ever did with both feet, he can certainly play. Our stats without him in the side are compelling too, only one win in eight is undeniable proof of worth.
There lies my frustration with him, I want him to play the shop window, come and get me game, all season long.
Some fans just despise him whilst others think he can do no wrong; if I haven’t made myself clear, I’m somewhere in the middle.
The fact that the interested party are Derby makes the whole saga more controversial, it’s a real tinder box situation.
It’s nothing new though is it? There was talk of the Rams tabling an offer for Britt Assombalonga a while back and how could we forget the greed of Chris Commons as he sold his soul for thirty pieces of silver. Nathan Tyson is another red that went on to play for the Rams, this after antagonising their supporters with the red flag flying high, following a fiery victory in 2009.
Derby County’s initial bid of £2.5m has just been rejected by Nottingham Forest but this could open the door for Watford, and a chance of Premier League football for Henri Lansbury.
There’s also the possibility of an improved offer from the Rams which could trigger a price war of sorts, something that may appeal to Fawaz.
This creates even more intrigue because NFFC are supposedly going through a takeover; which could be one of the longest in football history if continues to drag on.
At first I thought that Mr Al-Hasawi was deliberately prolonging the takeover to encompass the January transfer window; a parting shot and another way of recouping some of the squandered family silver.
Which was exactly the motive behind the disgraceful sale of Oliver Burke, the thought of which still makes me sick to the stomach.
However; if what we’re led to believe is true, Fawaz is going to retain twenty percent of the club so it may not be a cut and run job.
There are so many facets to this bizarre set of circumstances, some people will vent their frustrations at Fawaz, whilst others will undoubtedly vilify the player in question. For the most part in football, you are basically a pawn on the chairman’s, guild edged chess board.
In layman’s terms, they can sell you to whoever they want, for how much they like and without your approval. That would ultimately divert any cruel intentions away from the player in question, but when it involves Derby and Forest there is contrary to that theory.
In 2011 Derby County showed interest in signing Forest’s French midfielder Guy Moussi; a scenario that is almost identical to the current one involving Lansbury.
At the time Moussi was also 26 years of age, had offers from the Premier League and was nearing the end of his contract.
The Moose endeared himself to the Red’s supporters instantaneously by publicly voicing his opinion on the possibility of joining our arch rivals.
Moussi told BBC Radio Nottingham “I don’t want to be rude but I could not have gone to Derby.
It was impossible!” Regardless of whether you’re a Lansbury lover or loather, wouldn’t it be fantastic to hear such words from the Londoner at this moment in time?
There’s another cynical way of looking at the attempted Ram raid for Lansbury; could it just be mind games by the club at the wrong end of Brian Clough way? After all, they have very talented players of their own, especially in the midfield.
I hate to admit it but Will Hughes ran the show against us in the recent defeat at the I PRO and would be a hard man to displace in Steve McLaren’s side. However; Hughes himself is reportedly being touted by Premier League clubs and could be the very man to replace, should he be sold in January.
There’s a whirlwind of scenarios to comprehend regarding this whole story, and it’s the last thing us Trickies need to hear just hours into the new year. Lansbury is a very similar character to Kris Commons and Lewis McGugan in my eyes and if I could sum him up in one word it would be “Enigma”.
The other two players I’ve just mentioned never really fulfilled their potential after leaving Forest, although you could argue the Champions League case for Commons at Celtic. Only Henri Lansbury knows if it’s time to hit the road; but it must not be the A52!