How Morgan Rogers 'surprised' John McGinn as Aston Villa captain hails transfer steal

Morgan Rogers has impressed for Aston Villa since joining from Middlesbrough
Morgan Rogers has impressed for Aston Villa since joining from Middlesbrough -Credit:Photo by Alex Livesey - Danehouse/Getty Images

John McGinn admits he was surprised by Morgan Rogers' talent from the first training session he had with Aston Villa after joining from Middlesbrough back in January.

Villa signed the 21-year-old for just £8m, which could rise to £15m if long-term clauses are met. He is yet to even make 10 Premier League appearances, but Rogers is already making an impact under Emery as Villa target Champions League qualification and Europa Conference League glory.

"His confidence is growing, he's so strong, so powerful, he's even surprised me a bit when he first signed and his first time in training," McGinn said.

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"But the last three or four games he's been outstanding. That's great to see, he's playing football with a smile on his face and I wish I was that good at his age."

Rogers has played more football than he or Emery expected since joining from Boro, due to the injury suffered by Jacob Ramsey. After battling a foot injury since last summer, Ramsey was taken out of action by Villa's medical staff so he can prepare for the next season without any more discomfort.

Some players might have struggled to cope with the pressure placed on Rogers, who has often been the only option on the left side of attack in recent weeks. But he's becoming a key player in the side for his powerful running ability and movement between the lines.

"There a lot of players who have not been used to this kind of season," McGinn added. "I played a 60-plus game season with Hibs five or six years ago. And it was actually good.

"It wasn't easy but you get in a rhythm. This stage of the season can be difficult the other way when you have Saturday, Saturday and nothing to play for. That's when the motivation drops sometimes. But we have everything to play for.

"We will hopefully get some players back soon. I don't know about that, I've been too busy to notice but we have got the legs, we proved and we have the speed, power and hunger to keep going. Hopefully we will carry on."

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