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‘Will score a bagful in the Championship’ – Wigan fans spoke too soon after exciting transfer agreement failed to succeed



After relegation from the Premier League after years of barely keeping their head above water, Wigan Athletic were in need of a rebuild and a fresh group of players.

After falling through the trap door of the top flight, a mass exodus was underway with the club looking to get players in that are adept at operating in the Championship.

And on July 8, 2013, ahead of their first season in the second tier after seven years at the elite level, the club confirmed the signing of goal machine Grant Holt.

After four prolific years with Norwich City, the Latics snapped up the striker on a three-year deal for a fee in the region of £2million.

The then 32-year-old was prolific for the Canaries scoring 68 goals in 154 games which included back-to-back promotions from League One to the Premier League.

And the Latics fans were impressed with their new addition.

Life started well for Holt, scoring on his debut in a 4-0 win away to Barnsley on the opening day of the 2013/14 season.

Four matches later he would add his second of the campaign in a 2-2 draw with Middlesbrough.

But that would be it for the veteran forward for his new club that season.

After 21 appearances for Wigan, Holt was loaned out to Premier League side Aston Villa, where he would score one goal in ten games.

The following season, the 33-year-old was back at the DW Stadium but featured once in a League Cup tie against Burton Albion before a loan move to Huddersfield Town first, then to Wolves, respectively.

He would score twice in 15 Championship appearances while his parent club were relegated to League One.

Holt had a reprieve at League One level with his Wigan side, playing 23 times, scoring twice during the 2015/16 campaign that saw the Latics win the league.

But that would be his final involvement in Lancashire when in the summer of 2016, Holt had his contract terminated by mutual consent ahead of a move to Scottish Premier League side Hibernian.

After the initial welcoming Holt received, the reaction to his departure was as more enthusiastic that he was leaving than when it was when he arrived.

After the initial fanfare of a signing of a natural goalscorer like Holt, what they saw on the pitch was the shadow of a man who was once one of the deadliest strikers in the EFL, with three goals in 20 appearances suggesting a bad return for the money paid.

This was a transfer full of hope that a player who was arguably past his prime expected to carry the burden of a team looking to make it back to the Premier League at the first attempt.

It did not work out, and fans were happy with his exit three years after his initial signing.

ScoopDragon Football News Network