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John McGinn admits Aston Villa may need to spend big again after scrapping their way to Premier League survival

By Matt Maher | Aston Villa | Published:

John McGinn believes Villa may need to splash the cash again this summer after warning they cannot be satisfied with simply surviving in the Premier League.

John McGinn in action against Arsenal.

Villa spent £140million on a necessary squad overhaul during the past two transfer windows but only avoided an immediate return to the Championship by a point.

Dean Smith’s team claimed eight points from their final four matches to beat the drop and McGinn felt the remarkable manner of their escape was worthy of celebration.

But he does not believe it should disguise what was a generally disappointing campaign and claims quality signings are now needed if Villa are to push further up the table.

He said: I think everyone is aware we need quality added. We obviously spent a lot of money last summer and we may need to go and do it again.

“We can’t get complacent and think everything is alright now. It was a poor season overall, we know that, both us as players and I am sure everyone upstairs is fully aware of that. There will be changes, I am sure of that.

“The ones who know what this club means, know what it means to play here, need to get that across as quickly as possible to whoever comes in.”

McGinn is hopeful Villa can keep Jack Grealish, after the skipper scored the goal in Sunday’s 1-1 draw with West Ham which kept the club in the Premier League.

Manchester United are among Grealish’s suitors but McGinn said: “We are not thinking about that now.

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“Jack scored a massive goal for this club and no-one can get away from that. He woke up on Sunday and we had a chat, all the focus was on keeping Villa in this league.

“Our focus last season was getting the club promoted, our focus this year was keeping them in the league and we have managed to do that.

“What happens now I am not sure but Jack is still contracted here. It has been a privilege to play alongside him and hopefully that continues but you never know in football.”

Villa sat seven points adrift of safety with just a fortnight of the season remaining but put together their best run of form when it mattered most.

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McGinn said: “I know we had 90,000 people at Wembley last season celebrating a play-off victory but this definitely feels sweeter.

“With four games to go we were seven points behind and not one person outside the club really believed we could stay up.

“In that sense the togetherness we showed and the character we showed to keep this club up is unbelievable.

“There is no way we should be celebrating finish 17th with the size and stature of this place and the money we have spent. However, the manner we have done it, on the last day and deservedly so.

“It is not an experience I want to have again. It is just a feeling of elation mixed with relief as well.”

Matt Maher

By Matt Maher

Chief sports writer for the Express & Star.

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