Scotland captain Scott Brown has described in-demand Hibs midfielder John McGinn as a “great addition” to the national team set-up ahead of tonight’s must-win World Cup qualifier with Malta at Hampden.
At the end of a week in which he was the subject of interest from Nottingham Forest, McGinn impressed when he came off the bench in Vilnius in the closing five minutes of his country’s emphatic 3-0 win over Lithuania.
It represented the 22-year-old’s fourth cap since making his debut 18 months ago, and skipper Brown, who started his career with Hibs and plays a similar central-midfield role to McGinn, reckons the former St Mirren player has all the attributes to enjoy a lengthy international career.
“John McGinn is a fantastic player and maybe a little bit unlucky not to get his move that everyone was talking about but he’s a great addition to the Scotland squad,” said Brown.
“He’s a strong boy and he’s got that directness about him. He can get past a man and works hard for the team. He is great to have in the squad.” Brown is in no doubt that Hibs will benefit from retaining McGinn. “He was fine during the transfer speculation last week. Hibs have done well to keep him and I’m sure he’ll do well in the Scottish Premiership,” said the Scotland captain, before joking “until the next transfer window!”
McGinn, who harbours ambitions of progressing to the top level, insists he is in no rush to leave Hibs and is unfazed by the fact he has remained at Easter Road beyond the summer transfer window closing on Thursday.
“I was a Hibs player before the window and I am still a Hibs player and that’s fine by me,” he said. “I am happy where I am. I am enjoying my football and I feel as if I am getting better and better and delighted to get my fourth cap.
“The fifth is the aim but I can’t complain if I am not involved (against Malta) because it was a good performance on Friday night.”