By Frank McAvennie

5th Nov, 2020 | 7:00am

'Brilliant player' - Pundit raves as Smith hints at Villa opening 26-yr-old contract talks

Aston Villa midfielder John McGinn is the type of player you can build a team around, according to Frank McAvennie.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider correspondent Dylan Childs, the former West Ham and Celtic striker delivered his verdict after Dean Smith hinted he may be offered a new contract.

The Villa boss, as quoted by BirminghamLive, said the Scotsman will be “knocking on the door” asking for a new deal.

McGinn’s teammates Jack Grealish and Tyrone Mings both signed new and improved deals in the summer.

The 26-year-old has not missed a minute of Premier League action this season after returning from an ankle injury when football restarted in June.

He has played a key role in a resurgent Villa team that started with four wins, including a sensational 7-2 triumph over champions Liverpool.

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Asked by Football Insider whether he thought the midfielder deserved a new deal, McAvennie said: “McGinn has been a brilliant player for Villa.

“I think he’s enjoying it down there now with Barkley and Grealish, Aston Villa have bought extremely well.

“They’re a good flowing team, they got beat last weekend, but when they’re full strength they’re a good team.

“It’s good for Scotland as well.

“He’s a player that you can build the team around him.”

McGinn has four years left on his current Villa deal after putting pen-to-paper on a new contract last summer following his side’s promotion to the top-flight.

He captained his country for the first time last month in their vital 1-0 win over the Czech Republic in a World Cup qualifier.

In other Aston Villa news, Alan Hutton has revealed he was alarmed by what he saw on the Villa bench at the weekend.