Dean Smith hopes John McGinn’s return can give Aston Villa a real boost.
Aston Villa manager Dean Smith says John McGinn is back in full training with the club and hopes to see the best of the midfielder after the international break.
Smith told Villa’s official website McGinn is firmly back on the comeback trail and made comparisons with Jack Grealish’s return last season, which inspired their promotion bid.
Smith said: “John is back in full contact training with the players. It’s a boost for us and I’ll have to make a decision on whether he is ready to play a part against Chelsea. After the Chelsea game we have the international break and also a break where we were supposed to be playing Newcastle as well.
“We will arrange a game for John to play and hopefully we will see the best of him after international break. There are an awful lot of similarities to last season (with Grealish). We didn’t have a lot of confidence, but Jack came back and we went on a 10-match winning run. I’m not saying that John will help us to do that, but hopefully he can give us that sort of lift.”
Grealish’s return allowed McGinn to shine in the Championship last season, with the Englishman often being double-marked, giving the Scot space to create.
In McGinn’s absence. Grealish has had to shoulder the burden solo and that has increased the pressure on the playmaker to help Villa stay up.
McGinn doesn’t have the same talismanic qualities as Grealish – and the Premier League is a different animal to the Championship.
But there’s no doubt his return will be a major boost to Smith’s chances of keeping Villa up, especially with a tough run of fixtures coming up and confidence low after that 4-0 loss at Leicester.