Kevin Phillips has claimed it would be a “massive bonus” for Aston Villa if John McGinn can return for the League Cup final and last months of the campaign.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the ex-England and Premier League striker hailed the Scotland international as a key man and his return would be “like a new signing”.

McGinn has been sidelined since fracturing his ankle on 21 December, an injury that Dean Smith initially estimated would keep him out for around three months.

Smith has subsequently said the central midfielder has pencilled in the 1 March League Cup final against Man City for his return.

McGinn told lifelong Villa fan Prince William at a function last week that he would be back in five-six weeks, putting the time frame for his comeback closer to mid-March.

“We know how important Jack Grealish is to Aston Villa but John McGinn has been a very good player as well this season and he was brilliant last season,” Phillips told Football Insider.

“You would have to say getting him back would be a massive bonus for Villa and it would take some of the responsibility off Jack because he has been asked to do everything.

“To get McGinn back would be like a new signing.”

McGinn has been outstanding for Villa since joining in the summer of 2018 from Hibernian for around £3million.

He has made 65 appearances for the club, scoring 11 goals from central midfield as well as supplying 12 assists.

In other Aston Villa news, it can be REVEALED that an attacking star is unlikely to play for the club again after transfer terms agreed.