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Alarm bells sounding for Everton

Everton
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Martin delighted by Holt's new deal

Norwich defender Russell Martin has said skipper Grant Holt's decision to sign a new contract is a major boost for the club.

Holt, who scored 17 times last season as the Canaries finished 12th on their return to the Premier League, had submitted a transfer request earlier in the summer and later used Twitter to confirm that he wanted to leave Carrow Road.

The striker has finished as City's leading scorer in each of his three seasons since being signed from Shrewsbury by former Canaries boss Bryan Gunn, with his goals helping the East Anglians win back-to-back promotions from League One.

Holt, 31, had a change of heart and last week agreed a new three-year contract that will keep him at Norwich until 2015. Martin told TalkSport: "It was a good boost for the club just before pre-season started. The big man's staying - it's really good news.

"He had a lot of suitors because of the season he had - well, the last three years he's had - and he's a big character in and around the dressing room as well. It was important for us to keep him, and thankfully the management and the board have managed to do that."

New Norwich manager Chris Hughton, who succeeded Paul Lambert at Carrow Road after his move to Aston Villa, had stressed that he was keen to keep Holt.

Hughton has also added Barnsley midfielder Jacob Butterfield and - subject to the granting of international clearance - defender Steven Whittaker from Rangers to his squad, and Martin said: "We've made a few good additions already and I'm sure the manager's got his sights on other players.

"It always picks up the squad, keeps people on their toes. Competition is really healthy. You have to embrace competition and use it to improve yourself."

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