Aston Villa look set to be without John McGinn for tonight’s Carabao Cup clash against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.
The Scotland international was involved in an early collision with Michael Keane during the victory over Everton in the Premier League at the weekend, and despite receiving treatment, had to go off later in the first-half.
Speaking after the game, the Villa boss himself said: “He got a whack on the head after five minutes. He felt he was OK to continue. Around about the 26th minute mark, he got another whack on the head I think it was. There was a break in play and he came to alert us to it. Our doctor kept an eye on him but he called it then and went, ‘No, I’m too dizzy’ and went down. Our doctor was on it.”
And now, as confirmed by The Daily Mail, “McGinn will not play at Stamford Bridge under the FA’s ‘return to play’ guidelines that demand a six-day absence for a head injury.”
A mainstay of Smith’s side in the Premier League, the 26-year-old enjoyed a fine campaign last season, with Sky Sports and Match of the Day pundit Micah Richards raving about his influence.
He said: “This season he’s been absolutely incredible, back to the John McGinn I know. A lot of shine goes off of him because of Grealish because Grealish does the little bits that make people stand up on their chairs, but in terms of hard work, putting in tackles, goals and assists, John McGinn is a top, top player. Villa have been a successful side largely down to him as well and his work-rate in there.”
In fact, in the 3-0 defeat to Chelsea in the Premier League just a couple of weeks ago, McGinn was arguably one of Villa’s more impressive performers, with The Birmingham Mail’s Ashley Preece giving him an eight in his post-match player ratings and saying: “Very, very lively. In fact, McGinn was everywhere and forced Chelsea into a string of errors as he pressed and pressed and pressed in that opening 45 minutes.
“The Scot loves playing at Stamford Bridge after three back-to-back impressive displays here in west London. McGinn faded a little in the second half but always looked to rally the troops. He’s had a fine start to the season. Booked and was incredibly irate at the end as he flew into Jorginho late on. McGinn was fantastic.”
The fact he’ll now be missing from tonight’s game against the Blues again is sure to have Smith gutted.