Darren Bent claims that Aston Villa will continue to strengthen their options on the wing by signing a player who puts Jota under threat.

The former Villa Park and England star, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, says that a role in Dean Smith’s starting XI is the Spaniard’s to lose after his arrival from Birmingham City this summer but that he can expect new recruits to challenge for his place.

Jota was the first of Villa’s new signings as they prepare for a return to the Premier League, with Anwar El Ghazi the only other senior winger in the squad.

Bent insists that Villa will be looking at adding at least one more player to bolster the options out wide but that for now Jota is Smith’s first choice, highlighting the existing relationship between the pair from their time at Brentford.

He told Football Insider: “At the moment it’s his to lose. He knows Dean Smith really well from his time at Brentford so that’s why he’s taken him. At the moment he’s got the shirt. 

“I’m sure Aston Villa will strengthen in that area and for now he’s got the jersey. I’ve tried to tell people before, you cannot underestimate the importance of a manager, if he buys you and you’re his player, there’s nothing better than that.

“I’ve had it before where a manager’s bought me in, I’ve gone in and played straight away and it’s helped me ten-fold. I’ve also been at a club, been there a while and a new manager comes in and brings his own players in and it’s hard.”

Jota made 75 appearances for Villa’s midlands rivals Birmingham City during his time at St Andrew’s, 41 of those coming last season.

He played 31 times under Dean Smith at Brentford, scoring more goals than under any other manager in his career with 12.

In other Aston Villa news, it cane be REVEALED that the Villans have been told to triple their offer for a proven Premier League and international talent.