John McGinn

John McGinn
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John McGinn

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Current Club: Aston Villa

Previous Clubs: Hibernian, St Mirren

Loan Clubs: N/A

International: Scotland 32 caps 10 goals

Trophies Won: Scottish Cup 2015/16. Scottish League Cup 2012/13. Scottish First Division 2016/17.

While he does not have the kind of frame you associate with an athlete of any kind, McGinn does have very decent athleticism. While he is not lightning, he is quick across the ground and shows good stamina and work rate. He just, somehow always looks a bit out of shape.

It is just how he looks, as McGinn somehow looks short and slightly overweight, though he is above average height. His frame does help him to be robust and strong in the challenge, though he can be over-aggressive or rash at times.

As a technician he is very good on the ball, with a decent touch and the ability to play passes on tight angles and thread the eye of the needle. Though he is more of a player in tight areas, rather than a player that will boom 50 yard Hollywood balls.

He is at his best when the game is congested and he can use his strength to hold off a challenge and then play a ball at a surprising angle. McGinn comes from the fast and frantic world of Scottish football and that shows in his desire to look to move the ball quickly, rather than hold on and take an extra touch or two that some players often look to do.

While it is not really a big issue, one particular weakness McGinn does have is in the air, in all the games I watched to do this profile, he never won a single contested header. Not one. Not even when up against an opponent of a similar or lesser height. He barely seems to leave the ground and so is easily beaten. You would not want to rely on him to be the front post defender on a corner, that is for sure.

It all adds up to a very good, though not great, central midfielder for a team that looks to play through midfield. McGinn is not suited to a team that wants to sit deep and hit teams on the counter, as his defensive qualities are lacking, though he can play that way, it just does not get the best out of him.

His skillset is better utilised in the kind of team that plays possession football and looks to move it around quickly to create space, looking to keep the ball rather than launch it long. All in all, that makes him very suited to this Aston Villa team under Dean Smith, as that is the way he favours playing, when possible.

When they have been forced to change their way of playing in the Premier League by the strength of their opponent, it has shown up McGinn's defensive deficiencies. Mainly it is down to him switching off mentally and so getting caught ball watching or perhaps McGinn is just anticipating a chance to break rather than concentrating on being ready to defend.

Either way, it has a similar effect of leaving him sometimes chasing the play defensively and leaving gaps. It is why he is better with a holding midfielder behind him, to provide that defensive protection for him.

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Requested by - scholes_18_18, dilly2 & SkySaleh