Luton Town midfielder Henri Lansbury has said former Nottingham Forest teammate Chris Cohen was a major reason why he signed for the Hatters, in his first interview since joining the club.
Lansbury and Cohen enjoyed a successful spell together at the East Midlands side between 2012 and 2017 before the former left for Aston Villa – and with the latter becoming first-team coach at the Bedfordshire side last September – the two are now set to reunite as the 30-year-old puts pen to paper.
But despite making a name for himself at the City Ground, the midfielder’s career has stalled after failing to nail down a starting spot at Villa Park – and joined Bristol City earlier this year to kickstart his career after having his contract at the Premier League side mutually terminated.
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Nigel Pearson’s side endured a tough second half of the 2020/21 season though and failed to make any real impact – and was released last month with the midfielder not being offered a new contract at Ashton Gate.
However, he will be hoping to change his fortunes under a familiar man at the Hatters, with the former Arsenal man entering his thirties last October.
Speaking fondly of Cohen on his arrival, Lansbury said: “I look up to Chris, he was my captain at Forest when I was playing with him. He is a top professional and I can only imagine that he is a great coach also.
“To work with him again is an absolute honour and I’m really looking forward to it.”
The warm words didn’t stop there, with the 30-year-old also speaking about the shared aims he and Luton Town manager Nathan Jones have and why he wants to kick on under the Welshman.
“I have watched Luton for a while and Nathan is a great manager.
“I have spoken to Chris before and he said I should come and have a go under him, and I thought it would be a great challenge for me.
“The gaffer was very positive, wanting to really make a mark in the league. He is hungry and ticked all my boxes which I wanted to work under.
“The layout of his presentation and the notes he put down was everything I was thinking of doing myself and he hit the nail on the head. I think when we spoke, we both connected and wanted the same thing.”
Lansbury has good reason to be optimistic, with the Hatters finishing in an impressive 12th place and already getting busy in this summer’s transfer window.
Former Norwich City forward Cameron Jerome also joined earlier today – and they link up with Fred Onyedinma, Reece Burke and Allan Campbell as the club’s fourth and fifth signing in the last month.
If anyone will be able to get a tune out of Lansbury, it will be Cohen. After spending four-and-a-half years together, Luton’s first-team coach already knows the midfielder inside out in terms of his personality off the field and his strengths and weaknesses on it.
For Luton, they have a low risk and cheap signing that could turn out to be a masterstroke if Lansbury can recapture his Forest form. For the new signing, he has arrived at Kenilworth Road at a very exciting time and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see the Hatters push for a playoff spot with Jones and Luton being a match made in heaven.
On Lansbury, the 30-year-old speaks really well and seems to have remained optimistic despite setbacks in previous years, and Luton will hope his patience will pay off as he joins in time for the 2021/22 Championship season.