Dean Smith has spoken glowingly of Aston Villa’s latest century-maker with John McGinn set to make his 100th appearance on Friday.
The Scot has been a sensation since his £2.75 million transfer from Hibs back in August 2018 when then-boss Steve Bruce persuaded McGinn to ditch a move to his boyhood club, Celtic.
Bruce went all-out to sign the high-octane midfielder and even played a round of golf with McGinn’s Dad, Stephen, before the deal was all wrapped-up.
McGinn, meanwhile, has been Villa’s poster star alongside Jack Grealish and Tyrone Mings with the trio signing new and improved contracts this season after helping Villa over the survival line last season.
Speaking of his 99-not-out ace, Smith said: “You only have to look at the fact he has been here under three seasons and is due to make his 100th appearance – and that’s having had a broken ankle as well (picked up vs Southampton in December 2019).
“It just shows how integral he has been to everything we do at Aston Villa.
“I spoke glowingly before about his attitude to football, to life. The players adore him in the dressing room – perhaps not so much his patter of banter sometimes – but his attitude to training, to life and football is the reason he has played 100 games, is playing for his country and will be in the Euros.
“I can’t speak highly enough of him.”
On Villa’s deal to sign him for what’s easily the club’s best value-for-money in recent memory, Smith added: “It’s an absolute snip.
“I was reading about the story which got him here, Steve’s meeting with Lennie (Lennon). Lennon, who was manager of Hibs at the time, wasn’t to know he was going to be the Celtic manager a few months later.
“We are so pleased Steve signed him for Aston Villa. He has certainly taken that chance and opportunity wit both hands and kept progressing.”
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