Position: Central Midfield
Date of Birth: October 12th 1990
Place of Birth: London, England
Previous Club(s): None
To some followers it seems as if Henri (pronounced as in the English name Henry) Lansbury has been around forever. To Arsenal, he has, joining their Hale End Academy at the age of 9 and progressing through to brief Cup appearances for the first team. He has the potential to become one of the nation’s most cultured midfielders, such is his talent, especially when passing the ball.
Indeed, having been at the club so long, Henri is the current longest-serving player at Arsenal, as tenuous a statistic as that may be. Tall and strong, he loves to get hold of a game and get forward, where he is a regular goalscorer. His fabulous range of passing stands out, but that shouldn’t mask an energetic, all-round game which he has honed and continues to do so.
He hasn’t been without injury though. At the European Under-17 Championships in the spring of 2007, he suffered a concussion in being knocked out cold on the pitch, and missed a large part of the following 07/08 season with glandular fever. Being sidelined for six months at such a crucial time was hard, especially coming off the back of a hat-trick in the FA Youth Cup and a substitute appearance in the Carling Cup. He returned to full fitness in time for the 08/09 season, a year crucial to his development.
After regaining full strength from his illness, Lansbury featured for the first team in pre-season, including appearances out of position at right-back. He settled back into midfield and made three first-team substitute appearances in the Carling Cup, where he largely impressed, but will have been disappointed not to have started any of them. In an effort to accelerate the development he lost at a time he was shining, Lansbury went on loan to Scunthorpe in England’s third tier at the start of 2009 in an effort to seek promotion. He started well, scoring on his full debut away to Swindon.