By Alex McLeish

13th Aug, 2021 | 9:52am

McLeish cites Bale deal after 'brilliant' CEO reveal at Aston Villa

Alex McLeish has claimed Aston Villa have pulled off some “brilliant recruitment” to replace Jack Grealish.

The former Villa boss, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, heralded his old side for targeting “tried and tested” players to fill the void left by the 25-year-old.

Speaking following Grealish’s exit (August 5th), chief executive Christian Purslow confirmed the Villans had targeted Danny Ings, Emi Buendia and Leon Bailey to replace the homegrown hero’s qualities.

Villa have also signed Ashley Young and Axel Tuanzebe this summer.

Of the new signings, only Bailey does not have Premier League experience under his belt.

As such, McLeish suggested Villa had avoided the mistake Tottenham make when replacing Gareth Bale back in 2013.

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“Jack will always be a legend there through the few senior years that he had,” McLeish told Football Insider’s Russell Edge.

“To let Jack go and bring those players in of real substance, I believe, is brilliant work by Aston Villa. Brilliant recruitment.

“I know a few years ago we saw Spurs doing the Bale thing. Six or seven who came in and took a long, long time to settle.

“The players Dean Smith’s bringing in are tried and tested. We know their strengths and qualities. The opposition will be trying to work out their weaknesses as well.

“That’s up to them. For me, it’s great business by Villa.”

Tottenham splashed out on the likes of Roberto Soldado, Erik Lamela and Christian Eriksen following Bale’s exit.

The Argentine winger left this summer in a swap deal involving Bryan Gil.

In other news, Aston Villa tipped to have saved £20million after seven-figure transfer reveal.