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Holt hoping to boost Villa after completing loan move

Midfielder Ireland completes permanent move to Stoke AVTV exclusive: Watch first interview with loan signing Holt
Holt hoping to boost Villa after completing loan move

Grant Holt believes his experience, allied to the quality and strength of fellow forwards Christian Benteke, Gabby Agbonlahor and Andi Weimann, will enhance Villa's attacking options through the second half of the season.

The 32-year-old centre forward has been signed from Wigan on a loan deal to the end of the season after Libor Kozak sustained a broken leg in training, finishing the 24-year-old Czech international's first season in the Barclays Premier League.

Having worked with Paul Lambert previously at Norwich, the Villa manager knows what Holt will offer and he expects the former Canaries captain to be a strong influence on and off the pitch.

Lambert said: "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 scored 53 goals in 92 games as Norwich enjoyed back-to-back promotions from League One. In his first Premier League season in 2011-12 he scored 17 goals and was Norwich's player of the year.

Holt said: "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 a 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."

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AVFC Official
By @AVFCOfficial 14th January 2014
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