The £2.75 million move that took John McGinn from Hibernian to Aston Villa last week means family members will now need to roll up to St Mirren to support their kith and kin in Scotland.
At least it’s a two-for-one-deal they will be offered in Paisley, though, with eldest brother Paul moving from Partick Thistle to the newly-promoted club that is captained by his sibling Stephen. A close family, the pair not only delight in their wee brother John winning his big move, but in the exemplary fashion he handled himself over a summer which had seemed destined to see him end up at the clan’s boyhood club Celtic.
“My friend Jon Nolan has signed for Ipswich and handed in a transfer request at Shrewsbury recently,” said Paul, who will be part of the St Mirren team that faces a daunting trip to Ibrox this afternoon. “He sent me a text saying ‘your wee brother is killing me’. He was getting tweets saying John had scored in Europe and he’d handed in a transfer request. Everyone has to look after themselves, so I’m glad John got the move in the end and Hibs let him get away. You never know when you might have to go back so you don’t slam the door behind you..
“I’m sure it was a tough decision not going to Celtic but I just let him do it himself. I don’t know about the ins and outs. I’m sure there was a lot of thought went into and hopefully it works out.
“I won’t have to play against him and I’m glad that big bum won’t be sticking in to me. He’s always great at shielding the ball from me. We’re definitely glad not to be facing him. Hibs were a different force with him in the team last year.
“It’s long overdue, I would say. He’s done so well for so long. You look at what he’s won up here,” he said, referencing John’s League Cup final win with St Mirren and Scottish Cup triumph at Hibs. “That’s hard to do when you’re not at one of the big two. I’m really pleased for him and hopefully he does well down there.”
It is curious how the world turns. The two other McGinns, and Alan Stubbs who recruited John to the Easter Road side on a development fee of around £150,000 in 2015, now have the potential to benefit at St Mirren from what appeared a poor deal for the Paisley club.
Stubbs doesn’t know how much he’ll get of the reported 33 per cent sell-on fee that could see St Mirren rake in £900,000 from the Villa deal, but Paul believes the windfall is fully warranted.
“It was a steal for Hibs at the time so maybe it’s the value St Mirren should have originally got,” said the full-back. “That’s now probably evened itself out. It’s a good deal for us and hopefully we can put it to good use.”