Darren Bent believes that the suspension of the Premier League has stopped Aston Villa from making a blunder over the fitness of John McGinn.

The former Villa and England striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, suggests that manager Dean Smith was wanting to rush the midfielder back from injury after their “bleak” run of form.

The 25-year-old returned to full training just before the postponement of fixtures, the Premier League confirming this week there will be no games before the end of April.

With Villa struggling for form, Bent believes that Smith might have pushed for the Scotland international to come back too early in what could have been a costly mistake.

“They don’t have to rush him back now,” Bent told Football Insider.

“We know at one stage it was looking a bit bleak and it was looking difficult because obviously they were going to try and rush him back, which is now not the case.

“Now they can take their time with him, let him recover and recoup properly and go from there.

“That’s like a new signing but I don’t know what Aston Villa can do to propel them to start getting some more positive results. McGinn will make a big difference and will take a big load off Grealish.” 

McGinn played 20 times across all competitions before being sidelined, Villa winning just three games in his absence.

Smith’s men currently sit 19th in the top-flight table, two points off safety, although they do have a game in hand over those around them.

In other Aston Villa news, Michael Brown has urged Smith to keep the faith after a behind-the-scenes reveal over a “remarkable” player.