Hibs defender Darren McGregor insists the Leith club need to enjoy John McGinn while they have him – after hailing the Scotland midfielder as a future ‘superstar’.
As a fan at Easter Road, former Rangers and St Mirren centre-half McGregor remembers being gutted when the likes of Scott Brown, Kevin Thomson and Steven Fletcher all earned their big moves.
Now as a player, he plans to make the most of every minute that he has influential playmaker McGinn as his team-mate.
Sunderland manager David Moyes personally cast his eye on the former St Mirren player in last Friday’s win at Dundee United and McGregor knows it is only a matter of time before McGinn is the subject of a big-money bid.
He said: “We’re just lucky to have him and you need to enjoy his talent while he’s here.
“I’ve supported Hibs and seen the likes of Scott Brown, Kevin Thomson and Fletch come through and then move on.
“Although Hibs are a big club, you know that you can’t always hold on to your best players forever.
“Sometimes you just have to look back on it and say ‘well he’s given us a few good years and we’re going to potentially make a lot of money off him’.
“At McGinn’s age, he’s only going to flourish further. He’ll be a superstar.
“I’m sure whatever he goes on to do, he’ll look back and thank Hibs for maturing him.
“I was at St Mirren with John so I saw him as a 16-year-old coming through. He had all the attributes he has now but he’s just refined them and become better all the time.
“He’s like a wine, getting better with age, so who knows how good he’s going to be in his mid-to-late 20s.
“To replace a guy like that, you’d need to spend thousands and thousands of pounds a week.”
McGregor has watched some of his fellow countrymen struggle to adapt to the physical demands of English football but insists there is not one weakness to McGinn’s game.
He added: “The one thing that counts against a lot of Scottish boys when they go down south is their lack of physicality and presence within a game, but John’s not going to have that problem.
“He’s got all the attributes. In terms of his physicality, his mindset and his approach to the game, he ticks all the boxes.
“Some guys have talent but don’t have the work ethic and some guys have a wee bit of both but John ticks all the boxes.”
McGregor insists the finishing line is almost in sight for Hibs after they all but ended Dundee United’s title hopes with last Friday’s crucial 1-0 victory at Tannadice.
Neil Lennon’s side are six points clear of second place Falkirk with today’s visit of Dumbarton the start of a three successive home games.
McGregor added: “We can almost sense the finish line but we need to make sure we stay professional.
“It’s still nine games away but we’ve put ourselves in a great position by beating Dundee United. I think that was pivotal.
“The three games coming up against Dumbarton, Falkirk and Morton are big.
“Until it’s mathematically confirmed that we’re promoted, then we have to approach every game as if it’s our biggest of the season.
“There’s no doubt about, if we can win our next three games we’ll be in a really healthy position.
“We’re into the final straight of the season and we need to keep the consistency levels high.”