Holman joined the club from Dutch side AZ Alkmaar in 2012 when he was signed by manager Alex McLeish. The midfielder made 27 appearances for Villa, scoring one goal.

But McLeish was replaced as manager by Paul Lambert earlier on and the Australian surprisingly departed at the end of the 2012/2013 campaign, and moved to Al Nasr in the UAE.

Holman has revealed that Lambert was happy to see him go, and the combination of the lucrative Middle East offer and his wife's unhappiness in living in Birmingham ended with his early exit.

"I had a frank chat with Paul Lambert...in that period Aston Villa were sort of like a sinking ship," he told the Greats with Garby podcast.

"That was sort of that era anyway. Paul basically said you're not going to play for me. I said I've signed a three-year deal here, I've brought my family over, I've invested everything, I want to play in the Premier League, this is what I want to do.

"The bottom line is if we get a great offer or you decide to go, then go, because I'm not going to stand in your way and the club is happy to let you go.

"But I didn't even think about it. And then the spanner comes and it's a financial offer from the UAE that came out of nowhere.

"Me and my wife had a frank chat. To say she was unhappy in Birmingham... would probably be OK. Two kids, I travelled with the Socceroos a lot that year so she was alone a lot. I think the only time the sun came out was actually the day that we left.