Aston Villa midfielder John McGinn returned to the starting XI and produced a man-of-the-match performance in the 3-1 win against Nottingham Forest at The City Ground on Wednesday night, and he proved he is destined for the Premier League next season with or without the Midlands outfit.
The Scotland international joined the Championship club for an undisclosed fee last summer and has quickly gone on to make a big impression at Villa Park, becoming a key player in the middle of the park.
Following a two-match suspension having accumulated 10 booking over the course of the league campaign, the 24-year-old sat out the draw with Stoke City and the win against Derby County, before having to settle for a spot on the substitutes’ bench for the second city derby on Sunday.
However, with the scoreline at 0-0 the former Hibernian man and gave his side some fresh impetus in the final third, and he was rewarded with the impact he made with a spot in the XI in place of Glenn Whelan against Martin O’Neill’s side.
McGinn didn’t disappoint despite the visitors falling 1-0 behind with just three minutes on the clock, as he scored two brilliant first-half goals to give Villa a crucial advantage as they continue to close on the play-off positions.
The Scot needed to make an impression from an attacking point of view and he certainly did that with his two goals coming from four shots in total – he was unfortunate not to get a hat-trick when he saw one of his efforts hit the woodwork.
It wasn’t just his work going forward that was good either and he proved that he is an all-round midfielder by also winning two aerial duels, as well as making three interceptions and three tackles for his team.
A WhoScored rating of 9.48 is nothing to be sniffed at and given his all-action box-to-box displays and the fact that he has four goals and eight assists to his name in the Championship this term, he is ready for a move to the Premier League, and it will happen whether Villa win promotion or not come what May.