The Lowdown: McGinn in and out
The Scot has been a key performer for Villa for some time, bringing quality and energy to the middle of the park and replacing Tyrone Mings as captain during the summer.
McGinn has had a disappointing season to date, however, struggling to influence matches, not scoring or assisting and being left out of the Premier League line up in recent weeks, although he did return to the starting XI against Brighton on Sunday.
With Unai Emery now coming in as Villa’s new manager, this feels like a pivotal point in the 28-year-old’s career.
The Latest: Jones’ comments
Speaking to Give Me Sport, Jones claimed that it ‘could go either way’ when it comes to McGinn’s situation at this moment in time, either enjoying a resurgence or being shipped off by Emery:
“This really could go either way for McGinn at this point, but it’s a fresh start. Emery is a coach who is very open-minded and willing to give everybody a chance.
“He hasn’t even decided who his captain is going to be yet, so I think that’s a clear indication that this is a clean slate for everyone.”
The Verdict: Good time to have a breather
In truth, the World Cup break could come at a perfect time for McGinn, who has arguably looked like a jaded figure this season, struggling to cover ground and boss midfield battles like he used to.
This six-week gap between Premier League matches could allow him to recharge the batteries and return a far more formidable footballer again after Christmas.
He has proven so many matches what a good player he is – Steven Gerrard once described him as ‘outstanding’ – but if he doesn’t improve, Emery could decide to move him on next summer.
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