Newcastle boss Steve Bruce rates John McGinn’s signing as one of the best pieces of business he has done as a manager and believes the Scot would not be out of place at Manchester United.
Beating Celtic to McGinn’s signature last year was arguably Bruce’s biggest lasting achievement at Villa Park and the pair will meet for the first time in the Premier League on Monday night.
The former Hibernian midfielder was a bargain at little more than £2million and for some time he has been linked with a considerably pricier switch to Manchester United.
As a decorated Red Devils skipper in his own playing days, Bruce knows what it takes to succeed at Old Trafford and is confident McGinn has the calibre.
“He is that level, yeah,” said Bruce.
“From what he has done in 12 months, he can only improve. He scored twice again for Scotland the other night, so that’s six in three games for them.”
Recalling the tussle to get hold of McGinn 18 months ago, Bruce added: “A club like Villa…we didn’t have £2m, (but) in the end we got him.
“How we got him out of Celtic I don’t know because his grandfather was the chairman. It took a couple of games of golf at the Belfry with his dad until we could muster the money together.
“I am delighted for the kid because he is a smashing lad. He has to be one of my best ever signings because he has a determination to do well.
“I wish I could find a few more like him that’s for sure.”