Neil Lennon has sealed his first signing as Hibernian manager, bringing striker Grant Holt to the club on a one-year deal.
The new Easter Road boss had made no secret of the fact he was chasing the former Norwich City player and is confident that the 35-year-old’s experience and eye for a goal will prove valuable assets as the Championship side makes another bid for promotion this term.
The pair worked together at Nottingham Forest and the centre forward was a target while the Irishman was manager at Bolton. Injury intervened then but, following a successful medical yesterday, Lennon finally got his man.
Speaking to Hibs TV Holt said: “I spoke to the gaffer and I said that I’m not here just to sit and help the young lads along. I’ve come to play football.
“I want to score goals and enjoy football – that’s the reason I’m here.”
The Englishman was a prolific scorer for Norwich in three different divisions before moving to Wigan in 2013 for around £2 million. He suffered a cruciate knee injury while on loan to Hudderfield Town and was sidelined for nine months. Following his recovery, he was loaned for spells at Wolves and Rochdale last season, where he scored twice before his campaign ended in late April.
“We’re delighted to be able to secure a player of Grant’s quality,” said Lennon, who believes he will add a new dimension to the Hibernian attack, offering a greater physical presence than that supplied by the likes of Jason Cummings and James Keatings. He also believes Holt can serve as an example and offer advice to the promising younger players in the squad. “He’ll bring good experience to the group but he’s here to play and has plenty to contribute on the field.
“The fact that he has chosen to come here over other clubs who were interested in him speaks volumes about his commitment and desire to do well here. He’s exactly the type of player we were looking for and I am sure he will prove to be very valuable to the team.”
Lennon had hoped to bolster his strikeforce further by luring former Celtic team-mate Scott McDonald to Hibs, but that deal looks to have stalled after the Australian made it clear his is still weighing up his options, including accepting an offer to stay at Motherwell.
Former Hibs captain Kevin Thomson is on the verge of swapping the professional leagues for a shot at the junior game. East Juniors side Tranent have offered the 31-year-old midfielder a two-year deal to play and coach the club’s youngsters and it is understood that the former Rangers and Middlesborough player, who left Hibs at the end of the season, is poised to reject offers from SPFL sides to sign for the part-time outfit.