Henri Lansbury was Arsene Wenger’s young favourite now he’s unemployed after Luton reached the Premier League

Luton Town might be getting ready to play in the Premier League but not everyone is going with them.

The Hatters have completed a true underdog story by reaching the top tier in English football when just nine years ago they were not even in the Football League.


Luton will be in the Premier League next year but Lansbury won’t beCredit: Getty

They beat Coventry on penalties in the Championship play-off final at Wembley last week to secure Premier League football.

But the Kenilworth Road outfit have announced the list of players being released at the end of their contracts this month.

And that includes Henri Lansbury, who was once the rising star of Arsenal’s academy.

At the age of nine, he first joined the Hale End academy in 1999 where he flew up the ranks before signing his first professional contract in 2008.

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However, after a smattering of appearances, several loans and just one – albeit against Tottenham – Lansbury made the decision to leave in a £1million deal to Nottingham Forest in 2012.

That is despite a glowing reference from Arsene Wenger in 2010, who was full of praise while the attacking midfielder was on loan at Watford.

The legendary Frenchman said: “He will be a big player for me.

“He is at the moment having a very interesting experience [at Watford] that we judge to be very successful.

Lansbury was one of Wenger's favourites at Arsenal


Lansbury was one of Wenger’s favourites at ArsenalCredit: Getty
But he has now been released by Luton


But he has now been released by LutonCredit: Getty

“He will come back at the end of the season and practice with the first team in the next pre-season.

“Then we will assess the situation with him together.”

However, that never truly transpired as he made just eight appearances for Arsenal before leaving for Forest, where he was a regular for five years.

Lansbury landed a reputation for a fine player in the Championship but no club was willing to take a punt on him in the Premier League.

That was until Aston Villa got relegated in 2017 and saw the former Arsenal man as the perfect player to get them back in the top tier.

It did not quite work out that way and he made just 51 appearances over five years before a short stint at Bristol City and then a move to Luton in 2021.

After making 33 appearances last season, Lansbury suffered a downturn in form and was largely left either on the bench or not in the squad at all.

Lansbury is now on the lookout for a new club


Lansbury is now on the lookout for a new clubCredit: Getty
Lansbury was one of Wenger's favourites in the Arsenal academy


Lansbury was one of Wenger’s favourites in the Arsenal academyCredit: Getty

It has limited him to just 10 Championship appearances this season and he did not even make the squad for any of the play-off matches.

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So it might come as no surprise to hear that his contract was not renewed this season as Luton prepare for life in the Premier League.

It means that the 32-year-old is on the lookout for another club – whether he stays in the Championship remains to be seen.

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