This article is part of Football FanCast’s Pundit View series, which provides opinion and analysis on recent quotes from journalists, pundits, players and managers…
Jamie Redknapp has had his say on Aston Villa’s key midfielder John McGinn after his goalscoring performance against Tottenham Hotspur in their Premier League opener on Saturday evening.
Villa very nearly pulled off an impressive scalp on their Premier League return having held the Champions League finalists until the 73rd minute.
McGinn had opened the scoring for the visitors in the ninth minute but a long-ranger from Spurs’ record signing Tanguy Ndombele and a brace from Harry Kane put to bed hopes of a euphoric start.
Despite the defeat, the performance on the whole was positive and that’s something Redknapp picked up on.
The pundit’s Team of the Weekend was full of stars from the likes of Manchester City, Manchester United and Tottenham but the Villa man managed to make his way into the side.
Talking to the Daily Mail, he said:
“A special mention has to go to Aston Villa’s John McGinn, or ‘McGinniesta’ as some call him.
“No disrespect to Tottenham’s record signing Tanguy Ndombele, who scored a wonderful goal, but McGinn looked like the £55million midfielder on the pitch at times.
“The guy cost £2.75m when he joined from Hibernian in 2018 but he ran the midfield and opened the scoring. It was outstanding.”
Redknapp isn’t wrong.
The 24-year-old matched the £55m man, if not slightly edged him, showing that he could be one of the big surprises of this Premier League season.
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Both of them scored a goal – Ndombele will be getting more credit there as he belted in a thunderbolt from 25 yards out – but aside from that there wasn’t much to separate them.
It looks like the Scot is continuing on from his impressive debut season in English football last term where he racked up six Man of the Match awards alongside seven goals from midfield and nine assists – he was a major player in Villa’s playoff winning run.
‘McGinniesta,’ as he was labelled by Redknapp, was reportedly earmarked by Sir Alex Ferguson for Manchester United over the summer before signing a new long-term deal at Villa Park and after his Premier League opener, it’s easy to see why.
He’s going to be playing in the claret and blue for the next five years at least so expect to see McGinn dazzle more this season and into the future.