John McGinn’s long-term injury was the reason that Aston Villa were nearly relegated last season – he’s the all-rounder that every team needs.
That is according to 106-goal ex-Premier League striker Darren Bent, speaking exclusively to Football Insider correspondent Adam Williams after the Scottish midfielder put in another impressive performance in Villa’s 2-1 defeat to Manchester United.
McGinn signed a new five-year deal with Villa in December and has impressed in his defensive midfield role in recent weeks.
— John McGinn (@jmcginn7) December 11, 2020
He has started all six games since he put pen to paper, with Villa’s first loss in that period coming at Old Trafford on New Year’s Day despite a positive performance.
Bent praised the comprehensiveness of McGinn’s skillset, saying that the 26-year-old’s injury last season was the reason they were sucked into a relegation battle.
He told Football Insider: “Villa missed him badly last season which is why they struggled and ultimately ended up in a relegation battle. He is a key component in what they do.
“He does all the work that no one really wants to do, but he does it really, really well. The ground that he covers in front of the back four gives license to players like Grealish to get forward, Ross Barkley too.
“Not only that but when he’s around the goal as well, he’s got a fantastic technique with his shots or little cute passes.
“We see a lot of midfielders in that role who will run around, work hard, put tackles in but when it comes to in front of goal they crumble.
“But he’s that one that can hit shots from distance, we’ve seen him score worldies. He’s strong, he’s tenacious, he’s one of those all-rounders that every team needs and wants to have.
“A lot of people questioned him when he went there but he’s been sensational. He’s been linked to teams like Man United in the past, which is no surprise.”
McGinn signed from Hibernian in August 2018 and has since played 88 times for the club.
Steve Bruce, Villa manager at the time, has since called the £2million man his “best ever” signing.