After failing to start a single game in his first season at Aston Villa, Danish striker Nicklas Helenius is looking to leave the club.
The 23-year-old joined on a three-year deal from Aalborg BK last June for a fee in the region of £1.2 million, having proved himself one of the top scorers in the Danish Superliga, with 16 goals in 33 games during the 2012-13 campaign.
A highly-anticipated and promising arrival, Helenius however played just 147 minutes of action in six league and cup appearances as a substitute, despite injuries to frontmen Libor Kozak and later Christian Benteke offering him a prime opportunity to establish a place in the first-team.
The towering forward did appear ready to break into the side earlier this year, after coming on to score in the 2-1 FA Cup third-round defeat to Sheffield United in January, but failed to feature again in 2013-14, a hip problem also hampering his efforts to impress Paul Lambert.
With even youngster Callum Robinson seemingly moving ahead of him in the pecking order towards the end of last season, Helenius’ agent Mads Bach Lund has admitted that his client has had enough in England and wants to return to his former club.
"Nicklas has one big wish: to return home with AaB," he told the Birmingham Mail. "But he cannot wait indefinitely. On Monday he will take training at Aston Villa and on Tuesday AaB start a training camp. From our perspective, it is obvious Nicklas should be in it and if so he must return to AaB.
"The stay at Aston Villa has not gone as we hoped," he added. "There are various reasons which we want to keep to ourselves but Nicklas has reached an age where he must play, and it appears he is unlikely to at Aston Villa."
With two international caps to his name since his 2012 debut, Helenius remains highly-rated back in Denmark but his lack of playing time last season, despite Villa’s thin squad, suggests that Lambert has simply not warmed to him for whatever reason.
As the club continue to go through a rebuilding effort, under the cloud of their potential sale, promising young players appear to be the foundation upon which the side is being built, but the Dane is obviously not one of those potential pieces.