Aston Villa: Steve Bruce wasn't the architect of John McGinn coup

Aston Villa midfielder John McGinn

Football Insider have revealed that Bobby Jenks and Neil Lennon played a key role in convincing Aston Villa to sign John McGinn in 2018.

Earlier this week, Steve Bruce, Villa's manager when McGinn arrived, hailed the Scotsman as  one of his "best ever signings."

However, it is believed that Bruce had not seen McGinn play in the flesh before he joined the Villans, and the club actually have Jenks and Lennon to thank for getting the deal across the line.

Jenks, who became a scout for Villa in 2017, reportedly recommended the midfielder due to his work rate in the middle of the park.

Despite Jenks' assessment, Villa were said to be unconvinced by McGinn's qualities, but changed their mind after feedback from Lennon, who was the Hibernian manager at the time.

The Northern Irishman was full of praise for McGinn, and urged his player to reject Celtic in favour of a move to England.

GIVEMESPORT's Sam Brookes says...

Having been linked with Celtic, McGinn somewhat surprisingly chose to join Villa three years ago. 

The 26-year-old cost just £2.79m, and has been worth every penny. In his first season in the Midlands, McGinn registered 17 goal involvements to help the side earn promotion back to the Premier League.

He has since proven that he is good enough to shine in the top-flight as well. Last year, he managed six goal contributions, and he has already matched that total this term. This has seen his market value soar to £18m, according to Transfermarkt - over six times greater than what Villa initially paid for him.

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Whose career is this?

His performances in 2020/21 have been consistently strong. Prior to Friday night's clash, he had made 40 successful tackles - a number only bettered by Matty Cash and Matt Targett. Meanwhile, his total of 25 key passes put him fourth amongst his teammates, below Jack Grealish, Ollie Watkins and Ross Barkley.

Villa may have had their initial doubts about him, but McGinn has shown that he belongs at this level. The team's supporters will be glad that Jenks and Lennon got their way in the end.

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