Micah Richards has claimed that Aston Villa players were unsure on John McGinn when he first signed, but explained that he soon showed the kind of quality he has.
Villa signed McGinn from Hibernian back in August 2018.
The left-footed central midfielder was an integral part of Villa team that earned promotion from the Championship in the 2018/19 campaign, before helping them to stay in the Premier League last season.
After an injury problem, the Scotland international has been back to his best form this campaign in the centre of the park.
He’s a midfield engine with great stamina, aggressiveness and quality on the ball.
Pundit and ex-Villa defender Richards recalled doubters when McGinn made the switch to the Midlands, but has now described him as a “gem” in the squad.
“When John McGinn signed for Aston Villa, there were a few quizzical looks after his first ‘rondo’ session,” Richards wrote in the Daily Mail.
“Usually these exercises when you keep the ball give you an idea of a player’s ability and touch. I wouldn’t be stretching things to say some of his new team-mates were possibly just a little unsure about him.
“Within a few days, however, we were in absolutely no doubt that a gem had arrived from Hibernian.
“I never got to play in a match with him but the time I spent on the training ground left me in no doubt he had the tools to go far.”
McGinn has returned to Villa Park after scoring three goals in three games for Scotland during the international break in World Cup qualifiers.
The 26-year-old all-action midfielder can make a difference when he plays a box-to-box role, albeit this season he’s usually allowed his Villa teammates in front of him to cause the attacking threat.
Jack Grealish, Tyrone Mings and Ollie Watkins all receive plenty of media attention because they’ve all played for England now, but McGinn is a real driving force too at Villa.