Noel Whelan has named midfielder John McGinn as Aston Villa’s player of the season after their opening fixtures in the Premier League.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the former Leeds United striker, who watched plenty of the Villans during their successful Championship promotion push last season, says that the Scottish star has successfully made the transition from the second tier to England’s elite.

McGinn has been an ever-present in Dean Smith’s side since promotion, playing every minute of their four games so far.

Whelan says that the former Hibernian man has been their standout talent in their one victory and three defeats, scoring in their clash against Tottenham and setting up an assist versus Everton.

Asked who had impressed the most from Villa, Whelan told Football Insider: “McGinn. We questioned him – he was a fantastic player in the Championship but he’s just proving how important and how influential he is in the Premier League as well and that he can cut it.

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“Fantastic start to the season for him, I’m sure he’s going to be very important to Aston Villa – goals, work rate, his defensive duty, he’s got it all. It’s been great to see him up against the best in the midfield. He definitely doesn’t look out of place in the Premier League.”

McGinn has played 48 times for the Villans since his move south of the border from Hibs, scoring eight times and contributing 11 assists to his side’s cause.

Villa’s first game back after the international break will see them take on West Ham, the Irons have beaten fellow newly-promoted side Norwich in their last outing.

In other Aston Villa news, Football Insider can reveal that Dean Smith has given the green light for one of his own signings to leave the club.