Villa complete Holt deal
Published 14/01/2014 | 17:37
Aston Villa have completed the signing of Wigan striker Grant Holt on loan for the rest of the season.
The 32-year-old is reunited with Villa boss Paul Lambert, who was the manager at Norwich for whom Holt scored 53 goals in 92 games.
Holt has scored just twice since swapping Carrow Road for the DW Stadium last summer and has not found the net since August, but Lambert hopes the forward's experience in the top flight will aid his youthful squad.
"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," Lambert told Villa's official website.
"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 scored eight times in the Barclays Premier League during his final season with Norwich but has struggled for both form and fitness since moving to Wigan.
That surprising transfer last summer was motivated by Holt's desire to move closer to his family in Cumbria, yet the forward revealed the chance to return to the top flight was one he could not pass up on.
"It's a massive opportunity for me personally, an opportunity I couldn't turn down," he added.
"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."
Villa have won just one of their last eight games and the pressure is building on Lambert with his side just five points off the relegation zone.
Wigan, meanwhile, have been left short in the attacking department ahead of Tuesday night's FA Cup third-round replay against MK Dons.
Like Holt, fellow summer signing Marc-Antoine Fortune has scored just twice and Manchester United boss David Moyes has hinted they may look to recall Latics' top scorer Nick Powell from his loan spell by the end of the month.
However, boss Uwe Rosler last week stressed the need to trim the wage bill in this transfer window and Holt has been used sparingly since the ex-Brentford manager arrived at the helm.
Rosler also revealed Cardiff striker Nicky Maynard is due for a medical at the club ahead of a potential loan switch this week.