Aston Villa begin their new Premier League season at home to Sheffield United on Monday night and there is understandably a lot of excitement around the Midlands club right now.
They have done a brilliant job in tying down their talismanic captain Jack Grealish to a new long-term contract, plus they have made some eye-catching signings in the transfer market so far.
Villa have signed Championship duo Ollie Watkins and Matty Cash from Brentford and Nottingham Forest respectively, with both enjoying standout seasons in the second-tier last year.
Arsenal goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez has also joined in what looks a fabulous deal on paper, as he was performing to an elite standard in the back end of last season at the Emirates Stadium.
With all the new signings coming through the door it’s been easy to forget about the club’s other players, which is why John McGinn could be the man to upstage all the new faces when the new season begins.
The left-footed midfielder helped the club avoid relegation during the end of the last campaign, but he was returning from a long-term injury and wasn’t at his sharpest.
Villa boss Dean Smith claimed on Friday that he’s now back to full fitness and that he’s “ready to go again”.
“We’ve got John McGinn back now and he came back in project restart, but he was probably 80 per cent of where we wanted him to be. Now we’ve got a fully fit John McGinn ready to go again,” Smith said in his press conference, as quoted by the club’s official Youtube account.
It’s easy to forget considering how long ago it was, but McGinn lit up the Premier League in the early stages of the 2019/20 season and was unfortunate to pick up an ankle injury in December.
The 25-year-old is an all-action central midfielder that can provide a goal threat with his box-to-box runs and his energy in the centre of the park is infectious.
His presence will allow the others around him to play freely, plus he’s going into the new campaign after some game-time with national side Scotland in the international break.
The new Villa signings all look like they are going to improve the starting XI and fans will hope they settle quickly, but McGinn could be the real driving force in the midfield if he regains his top standard.
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