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Holman is first piece in McLeish jigsaw

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Brett Holman today revealed he couldn't turn down a club of Villa's reputation after he agreed to join the claret and blues on a Bosman transfer.

Brett Holman today revealed he couldn't turn down a club of Villa's reputation after he agreed to join the claret and blues on a Bosman transfer.

The AZ Alkmaar midfielder's contract expires in the summer and he has been persuaded to leave Holland for new challenge at Villa Park.

Australia international Holman has spent the best part of a decade in the Eredivisie having begun his career Down Under with hometown club Parramatta Power in Sydney.

He moved to Feyenoord while still in his teens but struggled to establish himself and was allowed to join Excelsior on loan before he moved on to NEC and then latterly Alkmaar having been signed by Louis van Gaal in 2008.

Holman, 27,is the first piece in the jigsaw of Villa boss Alex McLeish's summer rebuilding plans as he looks to overhaul the Villa squad and balance the books at the same time.

And the player himself was delighted to have made the switch to such a well-known and respected Premier club.

"Villa have a long and prestigious history in English football and a fantastic set of fans," said Holman.

"I'm delighted to have agreed terms and I am looking forward to joining up with the team in the summer.

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"In the meantime I have a job to do with AZ in trying to finish the season as Eredivisie champions, as cup winners and progressing as far as possible in the Europa League

Holman has won 53 caps for his country and McLeish was pleased to add a player of proven international quality to his squad for next season.

"Brett is a very intelligent player, a great team player and a man who is recognised in the game as a non-stop, committed midfield player," explained the Villa boss.

"He will add significantly to the experience in the Villa squad."

* Andreas Weimann followed up his goalscoring heroics for Villa against Fulham last weekend with a brace of headers as a strong Villa second string ran out 2-0 winners over Norwich City.

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