By Frank McAvennie

12th Aug, 2021 | 6:00pm

Aston Villa hailed for 'masterstroke' Grealish deal as ex-striker shares surprise claim

Frank McAvennie claims the decision to sell Jack Grealish could be a masterstroke from Aston Villa.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the ex-Villains striker insisted his former side can benefit from their star man’s departure.

Grealish joined Man City in a £100million deal on 5th August after a summer of speculation.

Last season, Villa only won three league games out of the twelve Grealish missed through injury.

This hampered their chances of challenging for Europe after a strong start to the season.

Dean Smith has boosted his squad by signing Emi Buendia, Leon Bailey, Danny Ings and Ashley Young.

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McAvennie claims Villa may be better off down the line after replacing a star man with several quality players.

“They have fresh blood coming in and that’s always good,” McAvennie told Football Insider correspondent Ben Wild.

“The big thing for me is that they won’t be relying on their star man anymore.

“They have a team now and that might work better for Villa. He was everything to them.

“That’s fine. But quite often when he didn’t play, Villa didn’t play.

“There are now some very good players in there who can offset, there’s quality everywhere rather than just in one place.

“It might sound odd but we might look back at Grealish’s exit as a masterstroke.”

Villa kick off their Premier League campaign with an away trip to Watford this weekend.

Several of Smith’s new players could make their competitive debuts for the club.

In other news, ‘Phenomenal’ Ings will be an Aston Villa sensation after what I saw last week – pundit.