Nottingham Forest star has no regrets rebuffing Arsene Wenger's offer

Arsene Wenger

Nottingham Forest midfielder Henri Lansbury told the Independent that he has no regrets leaving Arsenal despite Arsene Wenger's offer to stay.

Nottingham Forest midfielder Henri Lansbury told the Independent that Wenger wanted to keep him at Arsenal, but he needed to leave the club in order to settle down.

Throughout his academy career, Lansbury was tipped to go on and become a future England international and a major part of Arsenal’s squad. However, as with a lot of young players in the Gunners’ academy system, he failed to break into the Arsenal side and spent most of his time contracted to the club out on loan.

In 2012, the 24-year-old made the decision to quit the Gunners in search of permanent first-team football and got just that at Forest, where he remains a key player.

Lansbury, when asked in an interview run by the Independent, admitted that he was still in favour at Arsenal at the time of his departure and Arsene Wenger hadn’t closed the door on his future at the club, but couldn’t offer him first team football.

‘’Yeah, I had a chat with Arsene [Wenger],’’ said Lansbury. ‘’I said, ‘look, I want to be able to go somewhere and settle down, rather than going out on loan’, and he did say, ‘I want you around’, but also that he couldn’t guarantee that I’d be playing every week.

‘’When I was out on loan, I was playing every week, and I think, for a young lad playing football, you have to be playing every week and you’ve got to want to play.

‘’It was just the chance to move away, come here and play – it’s like a home now here for me.’’

This season, Lansbury has seen a lot of ups and downs as Forest have struggled to keep pace with the promotion hunting pack despite five wins from their first seven Championship league games.

Stuart Pearce’s side are current on a run of form that has seen them win only three times in their last 22 games in all competitions and sit 10 points outside the play-offs with 19 games remaining. 

Nevertheless, the former England youth international went on to add that he has no regrets at knocking back Arsene Wenger’s offer to stay at Arsenal and reiterated his happiness in the East Midlands.

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