In our latest instalment of the Flashback series, we take a look back at a certain moment and look at how things might have changed those initial reactions.
Few outside of the Scottish game might have known who John McGinn was when he traded life in the SPL for a move to the Championship in the summer of 2018.
Indeed, Aston Villa were gearing up for another campaign in the second-tier having narrowly lost out on promotion to the Premier League, beaten by Fulham in the final of the play-offs at Wembley courtesy of a Tom Cairney goal. After being downed by one Scottish international midfielder, the club took the decision to bring one in for themselves and haven’t looked back since.
Amid recent suggestions from Noel Whelan that Manchester United are scouting the player, it’s time to look at the impact that this particular signing has had.
John McGinn was a standout performer for the Villans last season, scoring six goals and providing ten assists for Dean Smith’s side.
He opened his account in a Villa shirt by scoring a stunning volley against Sheffield Wednesday last September, and after that goal just went from strength to strength for the club, with WhoScored awarding him an average rating of 7.28/10 for his performances in the Championship throughout his debut season in England.
This season, the 24-year-old has acquired an average rating of 7.54/10, seemingly picking up where he left off last term. Described by Jamie Redknapp in the Daily Mail as looking like a ‘£55m’ player following his Premier League debut against Tottenham last month, the former Hibs star has proven there is value to be found in the transfer market. Considering some of the money the Midlands giants have spent this summer amid a difficult start to the campaign, the relatively low fee looks even better.
Indeed, in the new found heights of the Premier League, McGinn has already notched two goals and provided an assist for the West Midland club, showing that he is capable of cutting it in the top-flight of England as well as Scotland.
Few might not have predicted McGinn’s career going as well as it has when he made the move to Villa Park for just £2.79m (per Transfermarkt) last summer, but it is proof that there are hidden gems to be found in league’s such as the SPL, should clubs in England be willing to take the risk on signing them.
Just how good a signing has McGinn been? Join the discussion by commenting below…
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