By Dan Harrison
Barry Bannan has welcomed the impending arrival of Brett Holman from AZ Alkmaar, insisting the Australian World Cup star will add experience and competition to the claret and blue ranks.
Villa announced on Monday that Holman has signed a pre-contract agreement to join in the summer when his contract with the Dutch league leaders expires.
And Bannan says the squad are already looking forward to seeing what the 27-year-old midfielder can bring to the club.
"I think it's a good signing by the club and I think Brett will contribute a lot to the experience and quality of the squad," he said.
"The gaffer clearly thinks he is a player who will add something and that's going to keep everyone on their toes. That's what competition does and it's healthy.
"The fact that he's played in the Champions League and at a World Cup underlines his quality and at 27 years old he will be at the peak of his game."
Bannan admits it would be great to see Holman arrive on a high with his current employers in strong contention to win their second Eredivisie crown in four years.
"AZ Alkmaar are competing for the Dutch title again and he'll be arriving at the club on a high if they can win another championship," he added.
"He wants to come to the Premier League after a decade in Holland and that's a sign of his ambition.
"I'm sure he has a good, settled life there but he wants to come here to face a fresh challenge, which is great.
"We have our own challenge from now until the end of the season and that is to finish this campaign as strongly as we can.
"It was great to win the game against Fulham right at the end and it's given everybody a boost.
"A new signing coming in gives supporters a lift too. He won't be here until after the season ends but it's something to look forward to.
"Brett will be made very welcome at Aston Villa. He's already been to the training ground to have a look around and I think he met one or two of the lads.
"He's very eager to come and play here and he will have that mentality which all Australian sports people seem to have - he wants to win.
"He will want us to do well for the rest of the season, too, and we're looking forward to the game against Bolton and trying to build on our win over Fulham."
Meanwhile, Bannan has called for a repeat of the spirit shown against Fulham when Villa look to earn back-to-back wins in Tuesday's showdown with Fulham.
He hopes the Cottagers win will provide a strong platform for the rest of the season.
"We felt we should have got more out of the games against Wigan and Blackburn in the two away games going into Fulham," the Scotland midfielder said.
"Certainly, our performances merited more than a point in both those games.
"It was a great feeling to grab the win so late in the game against Fulham when people might have thought another three points would prove elusive.
"But we didn't give up at all, in fact we fought all the way and got rewarded in the end.
"That's the spirit we have to show in the remainder of our games this season and that spirit is there in the club and within this group of players.
"The mood is very positive and everybody is working hard to achieve the results we all want to see."
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