8th July 2013, Owen Coyle the new Wigan Athletic manager is continuing his recruitment drive as the club recovers from relegation to the Championship. To the joy of most of us, Coyle pulled of what could have (and should have been) the signing of the summer for Wigan Athletic. Securing the services of Grant Holt from Norwich City for a fee in the region of £2 million on a three year deal.
The signs where great, Norwich fans gutted to loose a club legend but saw the reason for Grant's move back to the North West to be close to family. It looked on paper like we would profit, a proven goalscorer and all levels of English football for £2 million. If you weren't excited then something was wrong with you!
Now in all fairness to Holt. The team itself didn't start too great, it was obvious it was going to take for the team to gel, and that our main man may not get many chances up front. Yet he still managed to bag a goal on his competitive debut.
It became very obvious though that Holt wasn't the player we all thought we had signed. The hunger seemed lost from him and the physical ability that we needed from his just didn't seem there. I think to say he was out of shape and out of confidence is a fair assessment, but then something you could say about a lot of our players in the Coyle era.
Once Uwe Rosler came in, it was clear that our new manager wanted to give Holt a chance up front. Yet again Holt failed to impressed and continued to look a shadow of the player he had at Norwich City. To help lower our wage bill and allow us to bring in loan players in January, Holt teamed up with his former manager Paul Lambert at Aston Villa.
Holt's spell at Villa saw him play seven games and bag a solitary goal. Still the rumors were about that Lambert was interested in securing the strikers services to bring some experience to his young side. Randy Lerner's decision to sell the club scuppered any chance Wigan had of selling the striker to Aston Villa.
So Holt has returned and as mentioned above the striker hasn't traveled to Germany with the rest of the squad. That points to two things, either he is undergo some extreme fitness training for which it was easier for him to stay in England (a possibility but highly doubt) or the club want him to remain in England in case an offer come in for him and we can ship him out quickly.
The latter of the two seems the more likely to me. It was reported earlier in the week that the club would allow Holt to go for free, that points in the direction just how much is wages are at the club. It seems that if anyone wants Holt, then they can come and have him, we just want him off our wage bill.
However wouldn't we all like to be proven wrong about Holt and for him next season to come back all guns blazing and help fire us to the Premier League? We can all live in hope!