Much to the frustration of parts of the Ashton Gate faithful, January was a quiet month for Bristol City.
Other than recalling multiple loanees, former Aston Villa midfielder Henri Lansbury was the Robins’ only arrival in the winter window.
The 30-year-old has played just three times this season and not since October but has proven his quality in the Championship in the past – particularly during his time with Nottingham Forest.
We don’t yet know when we’ll first get to see Lansbury in a City shirt but we’ve examined what impact his arrival is likely to have at Ashton Gate.
More creativity in midfield
Midfield creativity has been an issue for the Robins throughout the season and one that has intensified since the injury to Jamie Paterson.
If he can get back to his best, Lansbury could provide them with the spark they’ve been missing.
The 30-year-old has thrived in the Championship in the past as a dynamic midfielder that can spot and play a pass, carry the ball forward, and find the net himself.
Those are characteristics that City could do with adding to their side and if he can show those qualities consistently, he may just win over the naysayers.
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A return to the 3-5-2 formation
The Robins have moved away from the 3-5-2 that gave them such success earlier in the season but Lansbury’s arrival could see Holden shift back to it.
You’d question whether he has the defensive capabilities to play in a 4-4-2, while his dynamism makes him an ideal candidate to play as one of the more attacking midfielders in Holden’s 3-5-2.
With Paterson returning to the squad soon as well, you’d think it won’t be too long until we see the City boss make that shift.
The end of Zak Vyner’s run in central midfield
This one’s directly linked to a change in formation but Lansbury’s arrival could mean the 23-year-old’s stint as a central midfielder comes to an end.
It’s an experiment that has for the most part showcased just what a talented footballer Vyner is but if City do indeed go back to a 3-5-2, he is a prime candidate to slot into the backline.
That would be good news for the Robins because a back-three of Tomas Kalas, Alfie Mawson and Vyner – who has just got better and better this season, is a mouthwatering proposition.