Express & Star

Aston Villa's John McGinn is confident in Unai Emery’s transfer strategy

John McGinn is confident Unai Emery will bring in the players to help Villa push even further up the Premier League next season.


The skipper also believes securing European football has made the club a more attractive proposition to potential targets.

Villa will enter the Europa Conference League at the play-off round stage after a brilliant seventh-place finish and a busy summer is expected, with Emery keen to strengthen his squad in every area.

The boss ideally wants two players for every position on the pitch but asked whether Villa were about to “splash the cash” McGinn replied: “It’s not always the right thing to do, is it? We have splashed the cash before and it has not worked.

“It has to the right character and the right player. I think with this manager, he will pick the right people to bring this forward, this project.

“This is what I envisaged when I signed. This is what the owners envisaged. There have been plenty of bumps along the way but here we are now. It is a really exciting time. If you want to attract top players they demand European football and we have that now.”

Villa will face Lazio in a pre-season friendly at Walsall’s Poundland Bescot Stadium. The Italian giants will visit the home of the Saddlers to take on Unai Emery’s Villa on Thursday, August 3 (kick-off 7.30pm).

It will be Villa’s second trip to Bescot of the summer as they also begin their pre-season campaign by facing their League Two neighbours on Saturday, July 15 (1pm).

Emery’s men then embark on a tour of the USA when they will play matches against Newcastle, Fulham and Brentford, before returning to the UK for the Lazio friendly.

Walsall have also confirmed they will travel to non-league Leamington as part of their pre-season programme on Tuesday, July 11 (7.45pm).