Former England international Darren Bent believes Aston Villa can “do better” this season without Jack Grealish on their side.

Grealish eventually left Villa after months of speculation linking him to a move from his youth club and joined Manchester City.

Villa’s former skipper joined City for a record Premier League fee of £ 100m and became the most expensive footballer in British history.

Villa himself spent £ 95million recruiting Danny Ings, Leon Bailey and Emiliano Buendia to replace Grealish’s influence on the pitch while Axel Tuanzebe was loaned out and Ashley Young returned to the club on a free transfer.

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Smith’s side have lost more games than they won so far this season despite facing two newly promoted teams, Newcastle United and Chelsea.

Last time, a 3-0 loss to reigning European champions Chelsea was not an adequate reflection of Villa’s impressive performance, but Villa still scored four out of a possible twelve points in the first few weeks of the new season.

Despite their slow start to the campaign, former Villa striker and expert Bent believes Smith’s men will show the results for their screenings.

Bent on Sky Sports said, “You have to get more players, and when you have a player like Jack who is vital to this team, you have to spread yourself out.

“You did well, Buendia, his first goal against Brentford before the international break.

“Martinez we know how good he is as a goalkeeper, Leon Bailey is coming off the bench but I think Danny Ings is the one to look at.

“He was the kind of Stardust we’re talking about. Okay, he didn’t play well today but he will score goals, you’ve seen how good he will be this season. If these players can develop, think I think they do better “the Premier League without Jack Grealish.”

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