Grant Holt - From England hopeful to Wigan misfit in two years

Former Norwich City star Holt struggling at Championship outfit and could be heading for the exit

Two years ago Grant Holt was being tipped for an England call-up as he enjoyed a barnstorming debut Premier League campaign with Norwich, banging in 15 goals.

Now, Wigan Athletic are ready to offload the 6ft 1in striker despite being sat 11th in the Championship, according to the Mirror’s David Anderson.

The 32-year-old has only scored twice in 21 appearances this season and his stock has clearly fallen low as manager Uwe Rosler has recently played midfielder Nick Powell and winger Callum McManaman up front.

Holt had a journeyman career before he made it to the Premier League, playing for ten clubs before Norwich snapped him up in 2009.

Like fellow striker Rickie Lambert, who of course did earn England recognition, Holt worked in a factory earlier in his career and was still playing for non-league Barrow aged 22.

It was in a two-year stint at Rochdale where he began to impress, scoring 42 goals in 83 appearances for the League Two outfit.

This earned him a move to Nottingham Forest but it didn’t quite work out and he moved to Shrewsbury for a season before settling at Carrow Road.

Norwich were in League One when Holt arrived, but his first season was a stormer as he bagged 30 goals in 44 games and claimed the club’s player of the year award as they were promoted to the Championship.

The momentum stayed with the Canaries and Holt and he added a further 23 strikes in 48 games as they reached the promised land of the Premier League.

It was Holt’s fantastic form in the second half of that Premier League campaign that saw him tipped as a possible England player.

He claimed the club’s player of the year award again, but despite Roy Hodgson enquiring about him and checking his medical notes, he never got the call to join the Three Lions.

What happened since then has been painful viewing for fans of Holt.

He handed in a transfer request in 2012 and embarrassingly posted an error-strewn tweet about his desire to leave before being convinced to sign a new contract.

But he only managed eight goals for Norwich in the 2012-13 season and Chris Hughton decided to sell him to Wigan for £2m in the summer, as new signings Ricky van Wolfswinkel and Gary Hooper arrived.

Holt said he did not enjoy the defensive football played by Hughton in his final season at Carrow Road, but it was still a big decision to drop back down a level after two years in the top flight.

Now with things not going his way at Wigan Holt’s career appears to be back on a downwards spiral.

It has been quite a journey so far, and Holt will be hoping to find his scoring touch again at his next club.

image: © joncandy

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