Holt completes Villa loan switch while Stoke seal double swoop

NEW Aston Villa striker Grant Holt is relishing a return to the Premier League after completing a surprise loan switch from Wigan yesterday.

Holt has struck just two goals in 21 matches since his £2m summer move from Norwich to the FA Cup holders.

But Villa boss Paul Lambert has swooped to bring in the 32-year-old on loan until the end of the season in a bid to improve his side’s tally of just eight goals at home this season, the joint-lowest total among the top four divisions in England.

Holt, who spent three years under Lambert at Norwich, said: “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.

“It’s a massive opportunity for me personally, an opportunity I couldn’t turn down.”

Meanwhile, Stoke have also bolstered their squad, after agreeing a permanent deal for midfielder Stephen Ireland which subsequently made room to take Manchester City striker John Guidetti on loan until the end of the season.

Premier League rules state a club can loan only two players from top-flight rivals at one time and Stoke already have Liverpool’s Oussama Assaidi on a short-term deal.

Sweden striker Guidetti, 21, moved to City six years ago, but has made just one first-team appearance.