John McGinn: Alex Neil says Aston Villa midfielder should be role model

McGinn is fit to play when the Premier League resumes on Wednesday after an ankle injury
John McGinn will be fit to play after an ankle injury when the Premier League resumes on Wednesday

John McGinn should be the "role model" of every young player in Scotland, says Preston manager Alex Neil.

Midfielder McGinn has been impressive for Aston Villa since joining from Hibernian in 2018, helping them to promotion to the Premier League.

Neil played alongside James McArthur and James McCarthy at Hamilton, and believes McGinn has the same talent.

"Along with Jack Grealish he's probably been Aston Villa's player of the season," Neil said.

"He's probably the one who should be your role model if you're a young player in Scotland."

McGinn is fit again after suffering an ankle injury in December and could play in the Premier League's first game back as Villa face Sheffield United on Wednesday.

Neil, whose Preston side sit sixth in England's Championship as their season restarts on Saturday, believes McGinn is proof that Scotland is a "great place to pick players up".

The former Hamilton manager added the success of Scottish players in England depends as much on their mentality as their talent.

"It's the mind frame of the players that come down," he told BBC Scotland.

"I played with the two Jameses at Hamilton and the success they had, if you said to me at the time, would they have had it? I wouldn't have been confident in saying 'definitely'.

"But what they have is an insatiable desire to succeed. And I think John's got that. You can get good players that can come down here and get lost."

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