Darren Bent has tipped new Aston Villa signing Douglas Luiz to help take John McGinn’s game to the next level in the middle of the park.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the former Villa and England forward says that an established midfield enforcer can make all the difference to those around them on the pitch and that the former Manchester City man ticks the necessary boxes.
The Brazilian talent joined the squad at Villa Park last week for a fee reportedly in the region of £15million as Dean Smith prepares the Villains for a return to the Premier League.
Bent insisted that McGinn was excellent last season in the second tier but that Douglas’ arrival, coupled with a good start to the season, could elevate him to new heights.
Asked by Football Insider if Luiz’s arrival could bring the best out of McGinn, Bent said: “Yeah, I think so. When you’ve got that defensive midfield player, that can cover all that amount of ground, that can protect your back four, it gives midfield players licenses to go forward.
“When you’ve got two midfielders who don’t really want to sit, and one’s got to, sometimes the discipline might wander and leave the back four exposed, when you’ve got a specialist that sits in that role, that doesn’t half help the other midfielders to push on and get forward.
“McGinn was brilliant, scored some great goals, was brilliant in the play-off final and it’s just about confidence now. He needs to attack this first game of the season just to see where he’s at. I believe John McGinn will be fine – he’s quick, he’s powerful, he works really hard and they’re the fundamentals of playing the game.”
McGinn, who arrived at Villa Park from Hibernian last summer, played 44 times across all competitions for the Villains last season, all but one of those appearances coming in the club’s successful push for promotion in the Championship.
In other Aston Villa news, it can be REVEALED that the club have agreed personal terms with their 11th signing of the summer.