Henri Lansbury could thrive in a central role for the Hoops.
The 27-year-old joined Aston Villa in the 2017 January transfer window, but he was a bit-part player for them last season as Conor Hourihane and Jack Grealish started ahead of him in the central midfield roles. Villa failed to achieve promotion due to losing in the Play-Off Final to Fulham, so they will be cutting down the squad in order to improve their financial situation.
Lansbury is unlikely to be kept even if they sell star players such as Grealish because they had little need for him last season, so he presents an interesting opportunity for other Championship sides.
His sample size is limited from last season, but impressive nonetheless. In 10 league appearances, he scored twice and provided three assists, so he had a direct attacking contribution an average of once every two games from central midfield. This shows the threat he provides in central attacking areas whether that be from distance or as a late runner into the box as well as his creative instincts.
Delving deeper into his numbers shows that he wasn’t just limited to attacking areas. He averaged 1.7 clearances per game, so he screened the defence well and helped out when needed, which was important in the 4-1-4-1 shape that Steve Bruce used for the majority of last season.
Lansbury also averaged 1.3 shots as well as 1 key pass per game. Therefore, he was effective with his shooting because he had a 15% conversion rate, and was a major creative influence in the final third due to the openings he created.
He would fit in well at QPR if Steve McClaren decides to bring in a short passing possession based approach. Lansbury could play in either a 4-2-3-1 or 4-3-3 shape as a central midfielder with his role being to dictate from deep and break open the opposition through his range of passing. He would be a cheap way to strengthen them significantly ahead of McClaren’s first season in charge.
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