Arsenal's official website reported Tuesday that 21-year-old midfielder Henri Lansbury, a member of the club since he was eight years old, has signed for League Championship side Nottingham Forest on a permanent basis.
Lansbury is the 10th player to leave Arsenal this summer (Oguzhan Ozyakup, who moved to Besiktas in June, was not included in the list), a list that includes the likes of Kyle Bartley, Carlos Vela, Pedro Botelho and Rhys Murphy—like Lansbury, recent youth-team players.
Born in Enfield, Lansbury had come to represent the burgeoning number of England prospects coming through the ranks at Arsenal, a trend manager Arsene Wenger had referred to this past weekend.
"We are still only focused on quality but for the first time England produces so much quality," Wenger had said.
"It's not that I have changed. For me the quality is the most important thing. My dream was always to produce 60 percent English and 40 percent foreign young players."
The core Wenger was referring to (Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Theo Walcott and Jack Wilshere), tellingly enough, did not include Lansbury.
As recently as two years ago Wenger had tipped him as future "big player" for the club, and when Lansbury thrived in loan deals—his spell at Norwich City in 2010-11, where he helped the Canaries earn promotion to the Premier League and drew praise from then-manager Paul Lambert, was a high point—it seemed he might be on the cusp of breaking through the first-team wall at Arsenal.
In the end, that did not happen. Lansbury made just eight senior-team appearances for the Gunners, and while he had excelled during this past preseason's Markus Liebherr Memorial Cup, scoring the lone goal in a 1-0 win over Anderlecht, it was not enough to persuade Wenger.
He is wished all the best in his newest endeavor.
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