Paul Lambert has called John McGinn ‘one of the catalysts’ behind Aston Villa’s impressive season under Unai Emery.
Aston Villa have performed above all expectations to challenge for a top-four finish this season, sitting just one point outside the Champions League places.
The Villans have not finished inside the Premier League’s top four since 1996 and have not qualified for Europe’s top club competition since reaching the quarter-finals as holders 41 years ago.
Lambert, who spent three years in charge at Villa Park between 2012 and 2015, has been impressed with the club’s performances this season and believes Scotland midfielder McGinn has been a driving force in their campaign.
“What a season they’re having. I think the manager’s gone in there, the ownership from the top looks stable and strong. The manager’s gone in and been a revelation and they’ve bought really well,” Lambert told The Football Faithful at an event hosted by BoyleSports.
“I think one of the catalysts has been John McGinn. I said a few years ago that his enthusiasm can rub off on people. They’ve had a great season and hopefully, they can maintain it.
“It’s a great club Aston Villa. In my time, it needed money and finances to run it and the club was getting sold at that time. If it’s done right it can be a huge, huge football club.”
Lambert believes the club have progressed a long way since his time in charge, where he cited keeping Villa in the Premier League as his best managerial achievement, above back-to-back promotions with Norwich.
“One of the biggest achievements was keeping Aston Villa in the Premier League, because we had absolutely no resources with it.
“The back-to-back with Norwich, the Norwich lads were great they were the ones that did it. Going back-to-back to the Premier League and securing it pretty comfortably was a great achievement, but the hardest one was the Villa one.”