Aston Villa manager Dean Smith


Aston Villa midfielder John McGinn has been hailed as the “best buy of the season” by Noel Whelan.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the former Leeds United and Coventry City striker has been blown away by the impact made by the Scotland international throughout Villa’s campaign.

The Midlands giants beat McGinn’s boyhood club Celtic to recruit him last summer for a fee of around £3million and he has been one of the outstanding players in the Championship as well as instrumental in his side’s remarkable run of eight consecutive wins.

Whelan has scored six goals and supplied 10 assists from his central midfield berth in 37 league appearances to provide outstanding value for money.

“I would say he’s the best buy of the season,” Whelan exclusively told Football Insider. “He has been fantastic in the midfield area for Villa, not only scoring and creating goals, but also with his passing, awareness and work rate.

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“Jack Grealish has made a huge impact since his return from injury and is the biggest name at Villa, but McGinn has been doing it all season long and was playing well even when the side were struggling and the crowd was getting on the players’ back. I’ve been so impressed by him.”

McGinn played the full 90 minutes on Saturday as Villa cemented fifth place in the league as they lifted their points hauls to 69 from 42 matches, which gives them a five-point buffer from Middlesbrough in seventh place.

Automatic promotion is mathematically beyond Smith’s side, with second placed Leeds United winning on Saturday evening to climb to 82 points and out of reach for the Villains.

In other Aston Villa news, it can be the REVEALED that the club are readying a £30million move for a Villa player after jetting in for a transfer mission.