Why Man United should make John McGinn a top priority in January
The 24-year-old was recommended to United by former Old Trafford icon Sir Alex Ferguson.
While the legend’s seal of approval over the Villa midfielder should have been enough to convince the club’s chiefs to go forward with a deal, United apparently didn’t have the budget to bring in further reinforcements after spending a fortune on Harry Maguire and Aaron Wan-Bissaka. (h/t Daily Star)
Ultimately, with Villa refusing to budge on their £50million valuation of McGinn, United dropped their interest in the Scotsman and the transfer window passed by without the club signing a new central midfielder.
However, fast-forwarding the sequence of events to mid-September, McGinn’s wonderful start to his Premier League career at Villa Park is likely to be a bit of a head-scratcher for the Old Trafford hierarchy.
The 24-year-old, who was instrumental in Villa’s promotion-winning campaign in the Championship last season, has already hit the ground running in an emphatic manner in the Premier League, with the central midfielder earning plenty of plaudits from fans and pundits alike for his consistently impressive and hardworking displays.
McGinn has started each of Villa’s first five league games thus far, scoring and assisting one apiece in the process.
The Lions might have won only a solitary game in the Premier League till now but the technically-gifted tough-tackling left-footed ace has by far been the most impressive performer for Dean Smith’s side.
To put things into perspective, it should be a no-brainer for Man United to go back in the market for John McGinn in January if the Scotsman continues to deliver the goods at the highest level over the next couple of months.
The 24-year-old, who only moved south of the border from Hibernian last summer, has acclimatised brilliantly to English football and, with his best years still ahead of him, the Red Devils would bag a real coup if they manage to nab the talented midfielder from the Midlands club.
Looking back at the sequence of events earlier in the summer, McGinn’s lack of exposure at the highest level could have been one of the reasons behind United’s reluctance to go forward with a deal but the Scotsman is now a proven force in the Premier League.
Should the Red Devils revisit their interest in the Villa ace in January, they are likely to have to pay a lot more than they would have needed to in the summer but United can now rest assured that McGinn is more than capable of thriving at the highest level.
Tactically, McGinn would be a wonderful fit for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s philosophy at Old Trafford with his high work-rate, ability to break up the play, carry the ball forward and work the pockets of space in the middle of the park.
New signing Daniel James has proven himself to be an incredible addition to the ranks but the Red Devils can still do with a new central midfielder in a bid to add more energy and creativity to the midfield and McGinn has a bit of everything in his locker that could make him the missing block in the puzzle.
Scott McTominay has caught the eye with a string of industrious displays as a part of Solskjaer’s double pivot in deep midfield but the likes of Nemanja Matic and Fred have been frozen out of the first-team fold for the Premier League games.
Matic and Fred seem to have lost the confidence of the manager, which seems totally justified after their underwhelming performances in the previous campaign.
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McGinn looks more like the real deal for United at the moment, given his blistering run of form and one cannot help but wonder that an all-Scottish partnership with McTominay at the heart of the midfield could work wonders for the Red Devils.
That said, United should consider revisiting their interest in the Aston Villa man come January.