Could Aston Villa let Henri Lansbury leave to free up budget in January?

Aston Villa hope to improve their squad in January but, without selling some players, they could be limited to more loan deals.

Club owner, Dr Tony Xia, recently spoke to the Aston Villa’s official website about bolstering the squad with loan deals in January.

He said: “In terms of strengthening, everyone knows that for January we have the FFP to look at.”

“But very possibly we will bring in a couple of loans to strengthen our squad. We want to keep getting better and better and help us end the season well.”

He concluded: “I hope in the next summer window, if we can go up, there will be a collection of more of my maths equations.”

Loan deals are only temporary and if the club aims to reach the Premier League, and stay there, more permanent signings are needed.

If players are sold, this could persuade Dr Xia to open his chequebook a bit more, making the likes of Henri Lansbury potential departures in January.

Lansbury, a 27-year-old central midfielder, joined the club last January for a fee of around £3 million.

He joined the Villains from Nottingham Forest, having spent a successful five years at the City Ground – making 145 league appearances and being named club captain.

The Englishman looked likely to continue his positive play for Aston Villa, featuring in 18 league matches to end the 2016/2017 season.

But since then, things have taken a dramatic turn for the worst.

Suspensions and injuries have seen the former Arsenal youth product make just four total appearances in the league for Steve Bruce’s side, with the last of these coming on the 12th September.

That was a 0-0 draw with Middlesbrough, a game in which Lansbury was shown a red card in the 64th minute after tackling a sprinting Marvin Johnson from behind.

Just one more first-team appearance has followed since that match, seven days later in a 2-0 League Cup away loss to, once again, Middlesbrough.

With Villa now on a strong run of form, climbing to 4th in the Championship, Steve Bruce may now consider the value of keeping Lansbury around compared to letting him leave to free up space to make moves in January.

A return of £3 million could help the club greatly, even if they are forced to rely purely on loan deals.

The quality of players Aston Villa could bring in would increase if they are able to spend more money.

Unfortunately, that could mean the departure of a player who should have been a regular starter in Bruce’s team.