Alan Hutton claims that Aston Villa midfielder John McGinn will be “annoying” manager Dean Smith in the hope he plays against Sheffield United on Wednesday.
The former Villa and Scotland defender, speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, believes his fellow countryman will be doing everything to prove himself on the training pitch ahead of the Premier League’s return.
Smith told the Express and Star that he would have to be “mindful” of throwing the 25-year-old straight back in after his lengthy layoff through injury.
The Scottish ace has been missing since December after fracturing his ankle against Southampton.
Having played alongside McGinn at Villa last season, Hutton has lifted the lid on what the midfielder will be like behind the scenes ahead of Wednesday’s clash at Villa Park.
Hutton told Football Insider: “He’ll be absolutely desperate to play, I know him far too well. He’ll be giving everything in training, he’ll be testing the manager, telling him he’s ready, just annoying him in the hope that he plays.
“I think the manager’s taken the right stance, I think you do have to be careful but as well you know he’s one of the top players and you want him playing so I just wonder if he will go ahead and he will play him.
“I think he’ll have one eye on him in that he can bring him off after 50, 60 minutes.”
Speaking about McGinn, Smith told the Express and Star: “It’s great to have John back but I have to manage him accordingly. It’s easy for me to go and throw him straight into the battle, knowing the sort of lad he is.
“But the other players have had 14 weeks without a game and John has had six months without a game. I have to be a little bit mindful of where he’s been and where he’s come from.”
In other Aston Villa news, Alex Bruce believes an attacker has a summer move lined up after a big update from Villa Park.