John McGinn has signed for Aston Villa from Hibs with one goal on the fans’ collective mind, to earn promotion to the Premier League.
After securing fourth place in the Scottish Premiership with Hibs, with a record points tally, the 23-year-old midfielder was hotly pursued by Celtic. But the Edinburgh outfit managed to stave off interest from their Glasgow rivals and sell him to the Championship side.
The fact that he was so highly demanded by the Scottish champions is a telling testament to his ability and how highly regarded he is.
The star (valued at £1.58m on Transfermarkt) will be a major boost to Villa’s title aspirations. So there is no need for Steve Bruce to wait before throwing him into the action.
Villa looked strong in their Monday night victory over Hull, and while there weren’t any players that deserved to be dropped particularly, a player of McGinn’s quality is worthy of being shoehorned into the starting XI.
The most likely candidates to make way for McGinn are Glenn Whelan and Conor Hourihane. At the age of 34, Whelan may need to be managed more carefully this season by Bruce, to preserve him throughout the season. However, Hourihane perhaps put in a more muted performance against Hull this week, so should be fearing.
It is unclear to see, therefore, who will make way for the physical midfielder, but it is definitely one that will improve Villa’s game. This weekend’s match against newly promoted Wigan may also be the perfect platform to ease the Scot into the team and the division.
Bruce will also be buoyed by the retention of attacking ace Jack Grealish. The solidity of McGinn in the midfield will allow Grealish more freedom further up the field, which will hugely benefit the Villans.
Managers are sometimes tentative to rush newly signed players straight into action, but it’s worth making an exception tomorrow.