Unai Emery hails John McGinn as the perfect role model as the Scotland midfielder prepares to return to old club Hibernian for the first time since joining Aston Villa for £2.5million
- John McGinn left Hibernian to join Aston Villa in 2018 for just £2.5million
- Unai Emery thinks Villa got a bargain and praises McGinn’s character
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Unai Emery says John McGinn is the ultimate example for young footballers and that Aston Villa got a huge bargain when they signed the Scottish midfielder from Hibernian in 2018 for just £2.5million.
McGinn will return to Edinburgh on Wednesday for Villa’s first Europa Conference League spell at Hibs, where he made 136 appearances between 2015 and 2018 and made his mark. And the experienced Spaniard Emery praised the Glaswegian.
The serious looking Emery chuckled when asked if McGinn’s signing would cost a little more money now and said: “Since he moved his career has only gotten better.” Now I think it would cost more than before (laughs) .
“It’s good because John is always positive in the dressing room, always happy, always challenging, always committed to his teammates, the club and the coaches.” His work is always high. I’m happy for him.
“He deserves it because he always tries to do his best.” He pushed until the 85th, 90th minute (in Sunday’s win over Everton). He played the same move in the first and 90th minutes. “John is a role model for others, for his teammates, for the fans.”
Unai Emery has praised John McGinn for the example he sets on and off the pitch at Aston Villa
McGinn has become a key player at Villa since joining from Hibernian for £2.5million in 2018
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Emery has a large team of analysts who spent hours watching Hibs footage but says McGinn and trainer Austin MacPhee, former assistant to Ian Cathro at rival Hearts, helped streamline preparations for the Easter Road trip .
“Of course we have Hibernian analyzed by our coaches and they told me something about how they play last week,” Emery said. “And then we can use something they can tell us, Austin and John. We have to be demanding and respectful of them.”
Emery, who has won four European competitions in Seville and Villarreal, as well as a Ligue Un title at Paris Saint-Germain, admits he’s looking forward to bringing Villa Park back to glory days after 13 years without European football.
“We also have our experiences, the players and I as a coach,” he added. “Playing in Europe has always given me a lot as a coach, in football I’m so grateful for the opportunity to play in Europe.”
“Every day when I go to the training ground I see the 1982 European Cup. It’s good to remember. This is the Aston Villa story and it is amazing. “We now want to write a new story and hope that we can enjoy and feel something important here.”