Aston Villa latest news: Dean Smith already has his "next Jack Grealish"

Jack Grealish during his time at Aston Villa

Journalist Luke Hatfield feels that midfielder John McGinn could become as popular as Jack Grealish at Aston Villa in the future.

What has Hatfield said about McGinn?

Grealish became a cult figure at Villa Park having come through the club's academy as a youngster. He helped Dean Smith's men achieve promotion back to the Premier League in 2019, and then played a starring role in steering the team to a mid-table finish last term.

He has since departed for Premier League champions Manchester City, but Hatfield believes that McGinn could follow in his footsteps and become a new hero at the club in years to come.

He told GIVEMESPORT: “Can he be the next Jack Grealish in terms of standing at Villa? Certainly. He’s been one of the best signings of recent history for them, came in for a relatively small amount of money and has really taken to Villa Park, and the Villa fans have taken to him as well.”

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What is McGinn's record at Villa?

McGinn arrived in the Midlands in 2018 from Hibernian, and cost Villa just £2.79m

In his maiden campaign, he scored the winning goal in the Championship play-off final against Derby County, and he has been an ever-present in Villa's starting line-up when fit in the two years that have followed.

The 26-year-old has become known for his energy in the middle of the park, and has a knack of popping up with important contributions in the final third. In his 68 top-flight appearances in England, he has registered seven goals and nine assists.

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What does McGinn need to do to match Grealish's standing at Villa?

It is easy to see why Grealish was so popular with Villa's supporters. As a Villa fan himself, he had a connection with the crowd instantly, and he then delivered outstanding performances on the pitch to bring the side out of the second tier and back into the Premier League where they feel they belong.

When comparing skillsets, it is hard to see McGinn ever blowing opponents away and being valued as a £100m player like Grealish.

However, it should be remembered that McGinn has also been a part of Villa's rise in recent years, and his work rate in midfield is clearly appreciated by the fans.

If he remains loyal to Villa and brings European football back to the club in the coming seasons, he could start to be seen in the same light as Grealish. 

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