Premier League talent can lift Scotland says John McGinn

John McGinn believes Steve Clarke’s new-look Scotland will reap the benefits of having so many of his squad now in the English Premier League.

John McGinn was man of the match as Aston Villa won the promotion play-off final at Wembley. Picture: Getty.
John McGinn was man of the match as Aston Villa won the promotion play-off final at Wembley. Picture: Getty.

The former Hibernian midfielder was man of the match and netted the winning goal as he helped Aston Villa win the Championship play-off against Derby County and clinch promotion to the riches of the English top flight.

He will be joined by two other Scotland players promoted to the Premier League – Kenny McLean 
(Norwich City) and John Fleck (Sheffield United), although Fleck has called off for the Euro 2020 double-header with Cyprus and Belgium because of he is getting married.

McGinn, who has spent the week on the stag-do of his brother, St Mirren player Stephen, said: “There are a few of us now playing in the Premier League – myself, John Fleck and Kenny McLean all got promoted this season and we also have Andy Robertson and Ryan Fraser.

“It’s looking positive for the country. Hopefully, we can deliver the way Villa did against Derby.

“Playing in the Premier League next season will lift our games. I know I can still improve.

“There’s still a rawness to my game. But playing against the best players in the world in some of the most famous stadiums in the world can only enhance my game and make me grow as a player.

“But I feel I am different to everyone and, hopefully, I can show that in the Premier League and show it with Scotland, too.

“Every young kid growing up playing football dreams of playing in those big famous football stadiums. Now, for me, those dreams are going to become a reality next season.

“Scotland have got a couple of big games coming up now. They are going to be tough matches after a long, hard season, but I think everyone is excited about them after the appointment of Steve Clarke.

“I, for one, am certainly looking 
forward to joining up with his squad. 
I can’t wait to see what he can do. I really believe Scotland has a talented bunch of players and Steve will 
have his own ideas to get the best out of us.”

McGinn is hoping he will soon be joined in the Scotland set-up by a club-mate, with Villa goalkeeper Jed Steer, left, eligible to play for Scotland because of a grandparent.

Steer did not make it as one of the four keepers called up by Clarke for his first squad, but McGinn believes he could soon force his way in.

He said: “Our goalkeeper qualifies for Scotland. Am I going to try and talk him into playing for Scotland? I’ve been trying. I’ve been bringing him some ice creams from Milngavie!

“He came up with some big saves in the play-off final.”