Exclusive: McNamara wowed by Aston Villa player whose stats have nosedived

Jackie McNamara heaped praise on Aston Villa midfielder John McGinn despite the 4-1 loss to Leicester City on Sunday.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider correspondent Laura O’Leary, the former Celtic player admitted that McGinn was almost impossible to axe due to what he can offer a side.

The 25-year-old midfielder hasn’t registered an assist or scored a goal in any of his last five league appearances.

McNamara acknowledged that McGinn has played a lot of games this season so that could have caused his form to dip, but doesn’t think Dean Smith should drop the midfielder anything soon.

When asked whether McGinn’s dip in form is due to playing too many games, McNamara told Football Insider: “I think his energy levels have been fantastic, obviously yesterday it wasn’t a great result for them.

“But I think this season he has taken to the Premier League really well, he has to make sure he’s fit and he has played a lot of games so far, but I think over the course of the season he has been really consistent.

Subscribe to Football Insider TV now

“Yeah (is he almost impossible to axe) because he brings a lot to the team, he brings energy, he’s strong, he makes things happen and he is up there with Grealish as their best player.”

The 25-year-old has played 18 games for the Villains this season, as well as continued to be a mainstay in Scotland’s side, and has three goals as well as two assists so far.

McGinn joined the Villans from Hibernian in 2018 and is contracted to stay at Villa Park until 2024 after signing a contract extension in August 2019.

In other Aston Villa news, Hutton has been left drooling over a Dean Smith decision that has “worked wonders” this season.