Aston Villa agree deal to sign Brett Holman at end of season

The Australian midfielder will join the struggling Midlands club after the 2011-12 campaign when his contract with Eredivisie leaders AZ Alkmaar expires

Australian midfielder Brett Holman has agreed to join Aston Villa when his contract with Dutch Eredivise leaders AZ Alkmaar expires.

The 27-year-old attacking midfielder has caught the eye with a number of impressive performances domestically and in the Europa League this season, and has long held an ambition to move to England's top flight.

"I am looking forward to joining up with the team in the [European] summer," Holman the club's website.

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

Holman has been capped 53 times by his country, and won the 2011 Australian Football Media Association's Player of the Year.

He moved to Europe age 18 to join Dutch heavyweight Feyenoord, but spent the majority of his four-year stay at the club on-loan at Excelsior.  He moved to NEC Nijmegen in 2006, impressing enough for AZ to part with €3 million two seasons later.

Holman has been considered a key player for the Socceroos since the 2010 World Cup, and has scored six times and contributed nine assists in 19 appearances for AZ this campaign.

Villa coach Alex McLeish is hoping he will add some experience and intelligence to the Villa squad.

"Brett is very intelligent and a great team player," the Scotsman said.
"He has international experience and he has played in the Champions League and at European level for the past few years. He will add significantly to the experience in the Villa squad."