The 24-year-old U.S. international had been training with Bolton and sufficiently impressed new Bolton manager Owen Coyle to be offered a contract even though he was nursing a thigh injury.
"I'm really excited having been amongst the guys over the last two weeks," Holden said after signing. "There's a really good environment playing-wise and the coaches help to keep everybody motivated, and having watched two matches at the Reebok already then the fans really get behind the team and the atmosphere inside the Stadium is something special. The first week here was a little tough with the weather and training being moved in and around the town, but the last week had a bit more of a routine and I have really enjoyed it."
This the Scottish-born midfielder's second spell in England. After leaving Clemson University, he signed with Sunderland but left after being injured in an assault.
Holden had initially planned on trialing at Burnley, but plans changed when Coyle left Burnley for Bolton early in January.
"The manager had watched a couple of games," said Holden, "and I had spoken with him on the phone, and it surprised me how much he knew about my playing style and my career. It really drew me to him along with the way that the teams he has managed play their football. Putting all the other offers aside, it was a no-brainer because Bolton Wanderers were the only option for me."