Curtis Davies admits he has been impressed with the form of Richard Dunne and believes Manchester City are regretting the decision to let him go.
The Irishman signed for Villa on the final day of the transfer window for £6million and has since gone on to form a solid partnership alongside fellow new-boy James Collins.
The signings appear to be smart business by manager Martin O'Neill especially given Davies required surgery on a long-term shoulder injury, ruling him out until the New Year in September.
The 24-year-old has been impressed with what he has seen of his new team-mate and with City looking decidedly shaky at the back, Davies insists they may now be wishing they still had Dunne at their disposal.
"I was surprised when Manchester City let Richard go," he said.
"I did not think they would let him leave. They have brought in two good centre-halves (Joleon Lescott and Kolo Toure) but we got Richard for £6million and they paid something like £24million and £14million.
"I think we have got a bargain and he has been superb for us and also scored some vital goals.
"A lot of people think Richard is older than he is because he has been around a long time and he started as a young player at Everton.
"But you can see the quality he has, the form he is in and I think City are regretting letting him go."
Davies has recently returned to training this week ahead of schedule and hopes to play a major a part in Villa's season from here on in.
The former Luton youngster insists that Villa are better equipped to cope with a top-four challenge this time round after their collapse in the second-half of the season last term.
"I was looking at the fixture list recently and there is one spell where I think Villa have got something like seven games in 24 days and, if we draw with Blackburn in the FA Cup, it would be eight in 24 days," he pointed out.
"It is a tough schedule and the games are coming thick and fast. Last season I think we used the least number of players of any team in the Premier League but this time we have a stronger back-up."