John McGinn is a Scottish professional footballer who plays as an attacking midfielder for Premier League club Aston Villa, whom he captains, and the Scotland national team.
McGinn previously played for St Mirren and Hibernian, and also represented Scotland at the under-19 and under-21 levels. He made his full international debut in March 2016, representing Scotland at UEFA Euro 2020. He has made over 55 appearances in total, and scored 16 goals.
McGinn started his career as a youth player at St Mirren playing for the club's Ralston Academy. He broke into the first team in pre-season of the 2012–13 season, representing the club against English opposition Carlisle United and Accrington Stanley. In the same summer he also helped the under-20 side to victory in Kilbirnie Ladeside pre-season tournament, picking up joint player of the tournament with Jack Smith. McGinn made his competitive début against SPL champions Celtic in a 5–0 defeat, coming off the bench as a 78th-minute substitute.
On 29 November 2012, McGinn signed a new three-year contract, keeping him at St Mirren Park until summer 2015. McGinn played the first 81 minutes of the 2013 Scottish League Cup Final, as St Mirren won the League Cup by winning 3–2 against Hearts.
In April 2015, McGinn was "speared" in the thigh with a training pole thrown by St Mirren club captain Steven Thompson during a training session prank gone wrong. The resulting injury meant that McGinn missed the remainder of the season, and in turn he took legal action against the club.
On 31 July 2015, McGinn joined Hibernian on a four-year contract. Hibernian paid St Mirren a development fee for McGinn and promised them 30% of any future transfer fee. McGinn was part of the Hibernian team that won the 2015–16 Scottish Cup, the club's first victory in the competition for 114 years. In the following season, McGinn helped them win promotion to the Scottish Premiership.
Hibs rejected three offers from EFL Championship club Nottingham Forest for McGinn during August 2017. McGinn scored both of the Hibs goals in a 2–2 draw at Celtic on 30 September, and the first goal in a 2–1 win at Rangers on 3 February 2018. McGinn was one of four players nominated for the 2017–18 PFA Scotland Players' Player of the Year award.
Celtic made three offers for McGinn during July 2018, but these were all rejected by Hibernian. During this period of transfer speculation, McGinn continued to play regularly for Hibs and scored the winning goal in a Europa League qualifier against Asteras Tripolis. McGinn visited Aston Villa's training ground on 7 August to discuss a potential transfer, which was completed the following day.
McGinn signed a four-year contract with Aston Villa on 8 August 2018 despite interest from Celtic. He made his debut for Villa in a 3–2 win against Wigan Athletic on 11 August, during which he provided an assist for the opening goal and his inswinging corner forced an own goal in the second half. McGinn scored his first goal in English football on 22 September, a swerving 25-yard volley in a 2–1 home defeat against Sheffield Wednesday which was later named EFL Championship goal of the season.
Despite consistent performances at his new club, which saw McGinn quickly become a new fan favourite, Villa began the season poorly, which eventually lead to the sacking of Steve Bruce as manager of the club in October 2018. Brentford manager Dean Smith was appointed as the new manager, and McGinn continued to be a key player in the Villa starting 11 for the new manager. The midfielder picked up his first goal under the new manager in a 3–0 win against Derby County and then picked up his first brace for the club in a 3–1 win over Nottingham Forest in March 2019. McGinn's good form continued, scoring goals against Middlesbrough and Sheffield Wednesday as Villa's form picked up heading into the final stages of the season. After picking up the club's Players' Player of the Season and Supporters' Player of the Season awards, McGinn scored the winner in the Championship Playoff Final to promote Aston Villa to the Premier League after 3 years in the Championship.
On 8 August 2019, McGinn signed a five-year contract with the club. He scored the first goal of Aston Villa's return to the Premier League in the first game of the season, in a 3–1 away defeat to Tottenham Hotspur on 10 August 2019. On 21 December 2019, McGinn suffered a fractured ankle in a 3–1 home defeat to Southampton and was expected to be out for up to three months. The break in the season caused by the COVID-19 pandemic meant that McGinn returned later in the same season, and he featured in all of Villa's remaining games as they achieved Premier League survival.
On 11 December 2020, McGinn signed a new five-year contract, which sees him extend his stay at Villa Park until 2025. Following the departure of club captain Jack Grealish, McGinn was announced as the new vice-captain on 14 August 2021. He scored in Villa's league opener, a 3–2 defeat against Watford.
On 27 July 2022, ahead of the new season, Aston Villa manager Steven Gerrard named McGinn as the new captain, with Emiliano Martínez replacing him as vice-captain.
He signed a new four-year contract with Villa in June 2023.