Aston Villa manager Steven Gerrard has given his thoughts on Manchester United’s interest in Scotland midfielder John McGinn who has been linked with a £50m move to Old Trafford.
McGinn has been linked with a £50million move to Old Trafford – and former United boss Sir Alex Ferguson is a huge fan of the Scottish midfielder.
But so is Gerrard – and the Villa boss has paid tribute to the role the 27-year-old has played for him this season both on and off the pitch.
Gerrard said: “There’s not many better people than John McGinn.
“I’ve been in the game an awfully long time and he is a really infectious character who is great for the group, on and off the pitch.
“John is the glue to everything that’s good at Aston Villa.
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“One hundred percent, he is very important for me, for the staff, for his team-mates and the club.
“The club have been good for John – and he has paid them back with consistent performances throughout.
“We are hoping to keep trying to improve him in all departments.”
Glasgow-born McGinn, signed from Hibernian in 2018, still has just over three years left on his contract at Villa Park.
Gerrard added: “We use the phrase ‘all in’ with John because he gives it all to the cause.
“He’ll die for you on the pitch. He commits everything, he is a proper team player and he’s got immense quality in there as well.
“I would have loved to have played alongside him because when you look around that dressing room and you go on the frontline, you’ll know John McGinn is with you.
“Whatever situation you’re in – good or bad – he will be there.
Jan Kruger/Getty Images)
“If we are to take this club where we want to take it, then it’s very important that we keep working with players like him. He’s invaluable.
“When you take over a job, it’s important that your senior players believe in what you’re bringing to the table.
“They help you deliver the message, they help you improve standards around the place.
“I don’t want to over-praise John here, but he has been absolutely brilliant.
“Everything we’ve asked him to do he’s gone above and beyond.”
When Gerrard took over at Villa Park in November, it seemed the midlands club would become embroiled in a relegation fight after losing five successive games.
But they go into the clash with West Ham looking for their fourth successive win and a possible top-half finish.
Gerrard said: “The initial bounce when I went in was better than expected because we won four games in a short space of time.
“It was four wins in six and the two defeats were against (Manchester) City and Liverpool – and we made both of them work very hard for the points.
“After that bounce we suffered a little bit. We had some tough nights – and we’ll have more of them.
“But the players are listening, they’re learning, and they’re growing and evolving.
“We seem to have them believing in what we’re trying to do.