Danny Mills has hailed new Aston Villa signing Pepe Reina as an “incredibly talented” player who is a big upgrade on the goalkeepers currently available to Dean Smith.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the ex-England international is a keen admirer of the 37-year-old former Liverpool, Napoli and Barcelona star.

Reina was signed by Villa in the latter stages of the January window on loan for the rest of the season from AC Milan.

It came after Tom Heaton was ruled out for the rest of the season due to injury and his deputy Jed Steer was also rehabilitating from a long-term injury.

Reina has slotted straight into the starting XI for Villa’s last three Premier League matches, which have yielded a draw, a win and Saturday’s defeat to Bournemouth.

Mills told Football Insider: “You’ve got an incredibly talented goalkeeper, couldn’t keep a clean sheet v Bournemouth but once he settles in and works with the team he will be an improvement on what they’ve got.

“Obviously their first-choice keeper Tom Heaton is out injured and that’s a big blow for them but Villa, they’ve all got to pull together. They’ve got enough talent to get into a cup final, therefore they should have enough talent to get themselves out of this scrap.

“It now comes players’ application, attitude, a bit of organisation from the coaches and they need to start scoring some goals.”

Reina sat out last week’s 2-1 League Cup semi-final win over Leicester City, as Örjan Nyland was given the nod to start, with Matija Sarkic on the bench.

In other Aston Villa news, it can be REVEALED that West Ham failed with swoop for Smith’s £7million man during the window.