Colney revisited for Arsenal’s Lansbury
Midfielder Henri Lansbury could join a select band of players to make a Norwich City debut in the East Anglian derby – after signing on loan from Arsenal.
The Enfield-born Lansbury has joined on a 28-day emergency deal and could be in line to make his first appearance in the sell-out Championship match against Ipswich Town at Carrow Road on Sunday (1.15pm).
Manager Paul Lambert has been hit by a spate of injuries that has reduced his midfield options – with Korey Smith, Matthew Gill and Stephen Hughes all sidelined and Simon Lappin currently operating at left-back because of injuries to Adam Drury and Steven Smith – prompting a rare move into the loan market.
In addition, Andrew Surman’s hour of action in the 1-1 draw against Leeds on Saturday was his first senior outing for nearly three months.
The 20-year-old Lansbury returns to familiar terrirory, because he started his footballing career at Norwich as a schoolboy before leaving at the age of nine to join Arsenal.
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“I’m delighted Arsenal have agreed to let Henri come here,” said Lambert.
“I saw him when he was at Watford and Scunthorpe and he’s a quality young player, very positive in his play.
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“We have been hit with injuries and midfield is one of the areas where we needed strengthening. Henri gives us more options in there, which is important.”
Lansbury brings with him plenty of Championship experience. He made 34 league appearances, scoring five goals, while on a season-long loan at Malky Mackay’s Watford last season, as well as starting a dozen games for Scunthorpe in League One the previous season.
His return from Watford wasn’t the end of his season – he made his first Premier League appearance as a substitute in the Gunners’ 4-0 win over Fulham on the final day of the top-flight campaign.
Otherwise, his Arsenal appearances have been restricted to the Carling Cup, although his last outing brought him a goal in the 4-1 North London derby win over Tottenham at White Hart Lane in September.
Lansbury was at Carrow Road in October when he was an unused substitute for Stuart Pearce’s England Under-21 side, who beat Romania 2-1.
His made his full debut for England Under-21s last week in Germany – and played the final 32 minutes of a 2-0 defeat as an emergency goalkeeper after substitute Jason Steele, who had replaced Scott Loach, had been sent off.
• DERBY DEBUTS
Eleven Norwich City players who made their first team debuts against Ipswich Town
1 Robert Green (1999)
2 Clive Payne (1968)
3 Maurice Tobin (1946)
4 Martin Taylor (2007)
5 Neil Davids (1976)
6 Dave Watson (1980)
7 Mike Milligan (1994)
8 Mike Channon (1982)
9 Mathias Svensson (2003)
10 Leon McKenzie (2003)
11 Billy Steele (1973)