Holt To Play The Villain
Grant Holt has joined Aston Villa on loan for the rest of the season.
The Ex-City Captain and talisman has moved from Wigan after an unhappy start to his career at the DW Stadium.
Holt moved in the summer for around £2m but has struggled for form and goals after suffering some niggling injuries. He has made 21 appearances for the Latics but scored just two goals. A poor return considering his prolific spell at Norwich, during which he won the player of the season award an unprecedented three years in a row.
Villa boss, Paul Lambert has moved swiftly to get Holty in after Libor Kozak broke his leg in a training accident and hopes the ex-City number nine will be a big influence on his young squad.
Lambert told Villa's website: 'Losing Libor was a blow to us, obviously. When I knew Grant had become available it was something I wanted to pursue quickly because he'll add strength and experience to what is still a young squad overall.
'Having worked with him for three years at Norwich, I know what he can do and that's important.
'Coming back into the Premier League will rekindle that desire in him to succeed again at this level and, if he can replicate what he did in those three years at Norwich over these next few months here at Villa, then he'll make an impact, that's for sure.
'Grant's got some really strong attributes, he's someone who is tried and trusted and a player I've worked with before. We're looking at one or two other positions as well but this is good business for us and he'll be a really strong influence.'
Holt said he could not turn down the chance to play in the Premier League and link up with Lambert again: 'If you just look at the likes of Christian, Gabby and Andi and then the players behind them, you can see what quality is here.
'The manager is trying to build a strong base with youthful, hungry players while adding experience in there too - the likes of Ron Vlaar, Brad Guzan and Karim El Ahmadi.
'I'm just delighted to be a part of it to try and get the best out of them and, hopefully, they will also get the best out of me. It's a massive opportunity for me personally, an opportunity I couldn't turn down.
'To be able to come back into the Premier League, especially at a club as big as Villa, is fantastic and it's an opportunity for me to work with the gaffer and his staff again as well.
'He's able to get the best out of people, there's no doubt about that. I know what he wants to achieve here in the long-term and I know what he expects. I know what he expects on the training ground and I'm looking forward to working with him over the coming months to try to help things along and to consolidate the club's position.
'We all know this is a club in transition but we're making progress this season. We've got a lot of young lads at the club who are doing fantastic and I'm really delighted to be a part of it and to be able to lend a hand.'
Personally, I don't blame Holty at all. It's a good, unexpected opportunity for him and a chance to play at the top level again. All the best big man - except on 1st March, of course.