John McGinn of Aston Villa celebrates his goal with Tammy Abraham of Aston Villa during the Sky Bet Championship match between Aston Villa and Middlesbrough at Villa Park on March 16, 2019 in Birmingham, England. (Photo by Matthew Lewis/Getty Images)

In a recent interview with Football Insider, former Premier League forward Noel Whelan has tipped West Ham United to lock horns with Newcastle United in the chase to land Aston Villa midfielder John McGinn this summer.

When asked about his thoughts on the Magpies’ interest in the talented playmaker, Whelan name-dropped the Hammers and said (via Football Insider), “I think they’ll be considering him – right age, knows the Premier League, got a bit of experience this season and done really, really well.

“He’s an international as well so he’d be the sort of person that would fit into a Newcastle role, probably a West Ham role as well, to be honest. He’s the sort of player that West Ham and Newcastle need. There’s loads of talent in that kid, there really is.

“I was really impressed when I saw him play for Aston Villa at the start of the Premier League, he doesn’t look out of place, he looks very comfortable in the top flight.

“There will be many clubs interested if Aston Villa do go down, he’s probably one of their stars on the fringe of moving.”

McGinn’s Impressive Debut Season In The Premier League

McGinn has established himself as a key performer in Dean Smith’s first-team since making a high-profile switch from Hibernian in the summer of 2018. He helped the West Midlands giants earn a promotion in his debut campaign in England before going on to enjoy a productive spell with them in the Premier League this season.

The Scottish playmaker has been responsible for putting in a string of industrious performances for the Villans which has made him a real fan-favourite at Villa Park. McGinn has registered three goals and two assists in 20 matches under Smith’s tutelage this term across all competitions. His excellent contributions have enhanced his reputation in English football and made him a worthy asset for West Ham boss David Moyes to consider in this off-season.

The Glasgow-born midfield enforcer had influenced the game at both ends of the field after averaging 2.5 tackles, 0.9 interceptions, 0.7 clearances, 2.1 shots, 1.5 key passes and 2.3 dribbles per game in the English top-flight before the season got postponed as a result of the recent COVID-19 pandemic (stats via whoscored).

John McGinn of Aston Villa speaks to referee Martin Atkinson during the Premier League match between Aston Villa and AFC Bournemouth at Villa Park on August 17, 2019, in Birmingham, United Kingdom. (Photo by Alex Morton/Getty Images)

What Does The Scotland International Offer On The Pitch?

McGinn is a tireless worker and is versatile enough to operate in multiple positions across the middle of the park. The Villans have often used him in a box to box role in midfield, but he can also assume the duties of a holding midfielder or play as a winger down the left flank if needed. His remarkable versatility, coupled with tireless work ethic, make him a valuable asset in Smith’s squad. The 25-year-old has also contributed by scoring or creating the odd breakaway goal from time to time.

Should The Hammers Rival Newcastle In The Chase To Sign McGinn This Summer?

However, McGinn will need to be more consistent as far as his all-around performances are concerned in midfield if he intends to break into the world-class bracket someday. For that to happen, the 21-time Scotland international has to ensure that he tastes Premier League football week in week out in the coming seasons. He could prove to be a significant coup for the Hammers if they can find a way to bring him to the London Stadium before the start of the new campaign.

McGinn will not only add more energy and creativity to the West Ham midfield but also increase competition for places within Moyes’ squad. He will provide some healthy competition to the likes of Mark Noble, Declan Rice, Jack Wilshere, Pablo Fornals, Robert Snodgrass, Manuel Lanzini and Carlos Sanchez in the race to secure a regular midfield spot in the Hammers’ starting XI. The Scottish workhorse will also serve as an ideal long-term replacement for West Ham skipper Mark Noble, which is why Moyes would be wise to listen to Whelan’s advice by orchestrating a move for McGinn this summer.

A 26-year-old sports writer and an aspiring football coach who has road-tripped across the Scottish Highlands, but has never been to Wales. Sucker for cliff-hangers and catchy riffs. Known to be a grunger and not to be a stranger.