John McGinn revealed he had his “heart set” on joining Celtic before signing for Aston Villa over the summer. The 24-year-old was the subject of bids while at Hibernian, but a deal never looked close to being agreed. Villa met his asking price and were successful in bringing him to England where he’s shone in his debut season. McGinn has made 19 appearances in all competitions for Villa, scoring and creating six goals while averaging a tackle or interception every 30 minutes. Villa’s gain has certainly been Celtic’s loss.
He explained how the move came about to Sky Sports, saying: “Obviously Celtic made a few offers and it was hard for me (not joining the club). I was a season ticket holder for 15 years, so I had my heart set on it. But then two months along the line it became clear that a deal wasn’t being agreed. I just focused on my football and then got the opportunity to go to Aston Villa and I was blown away. When their bid got accepted there was only one place I was going.”
McGinn has been a terrific signing so far, producing all-action displays in the middle of the park. His high levels of industry have surprised many, as has his composure in possession and productivity in the final third. Only Jack Grealish (47) has created more chances than the Scottish international (39) while only Conor Hourihane (6) has made more assists than McGinn (4). Villa currently sit eighth in the Championship with 33 points from 22 games and have hope of making the playoffs. With an in-form McGinn, it’s more than possible.