Sir Alex Ferguson transfer commentary shows John McGinn has proven everyone wrong at Aston Villa
If Hampden Park had a roof it would have come off when John McGinn placed the ball in the corner of the Israeli goal the other night.
The only other goal for the Aston Villa midfielder this season came on Matchday 1 of the season, in a 3-2 loss to Watford. Fortunately for McGinn and Scotland, it was the same score but in favor of Meatball on this occasion. That was in large part thanks to Scott McTominay, when he regrouped McGinn’s stoppage corner.
In a parallel universe, McGinn and McTominay could also have played side-by-side at the national level. Certainly, if Sir Alex Ferguson had had what he wanted, they probably would have been.
Let’s not forget that Ferguson informed Manchester United, when Villa returned to the Premier League in 2019, that they would have to pursue a move for McGinn, but the club decided not to go through with it.
That was according to former Villa scout Bobby Jenks, who actually recommended McGinn to Villa in the first place.
“What I do know is Sir Alex Ferguson is wondering why Manchester United let a talented Scottish boy pass up,” Jenks said in 2019. “He will be watching him closely for sure and if he continues like this. he meaning you can bet he will tell his United friends that too.
Steve Bruce has since claimed that Villa signing McGinn for £ 2million – two… million… pounds, by the way – was the best play he has ever overseen as a manager.
Instead, after inspiring Villa for promotion and scoring at Wembley, McGinn has stayed put and been a crucial part of everything Dean Smith’s side have done well over the past three years. He hit the ground running in the Premier League, scoring a magnificent goal at Tottenham, and when he suffered that injury before Christmas he missed Villa terribly.
As a supporter, McGinn is everything you want in a player. He’s a brilliant personality, has a very impressive engine, scores quality goals and never stops working. Much of this is due to Smith, of course.
He turned out to be more than a starting midfielder, or a ten. Midfielders, more than any other position, tend to be quartered in some versions, but McGinn is as natural as an 8, who can do anything, as they come and he has the ability to explode and score.
“If you thought I could play more forward a few years ago, I would have laughed,” McGinn joked a few years ago. “I was probably sucked in by the idea in Scotland that I was just a rat and a runner, but Dean gave me the confidence to get involved higher up in the park and I appreciate that.
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“I’m still learning and have so much to improve if I want to play in this position at Premier League level, but it’s good that I’m hosting games there at my club to, hopefully, myself. enjoy with Scotland.
“When I played for Hibs it was probably the most erratic I have ever been, but at Villa you are not allowed to do that. You have a certain role in the team.
Undoubtedly one of the first names on Villa’s roster these days, McGinn vindicates Ferguson with each passing week, each passing month and each passing season.
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It was suggested at the time that McGinn would be worth around £ 50million at Villa if a side like United called, but with the Scotsman on the verge of turning 27 and his contract recently extended, the Lions should take advantage of his best years and might command even higher fees for him these days.
For Ferguson, who looked at Hampden and stood up to cheer as McGinn rocked that game-winning corner to the death, he’ll know this is a missed chance by the Red Devils – not that Villa cares about that one word.