Grealish eventually left Villa for Manchester City after months of speculation that linked him with a move away from his boyhood club.
Villa’s former skipper joined City for a Premier League record £100million transfer fee and become the most expensive footballer in British history.
Villa spent £95million themselves to recruit Danny Ings, Leon Bailey, and Emiliano Buendia to replace Grealish’s influence on the pitch, while Axel Tuanzebe joined on loan and Ashley Young returned to the club on a free transfer.
Smith’s side have so far this season lost more games that they have won despite facing two newly promoted teams, Newcastle United and Chelsea.
Last time out, a 3-0 defeat to the reigning European champions Chelsea wasn’t a fair reflection of Villa’s impressive performance but nonetheless, Villa have taken four points from a possible 12 in the opening weeks of the new campaign.
Despite their slow start to the campaign, former Villa striker and pundit Bent believes Smith’s men will get the results to show for their displays.
Bent said on Sky Sports: “They need to get more players in and when you’ve got a player like Jack who’s vital to that team, you have to spread out.
“They’ve recruited well, Buendia, his first goal against Brentford before the international break.
“Martinez, we know how good of a goalkeeper he is, Leon Bailey coming off the bench, but I think Danny Ings is the one you look at.
“He was the kind of stardust we talk about, okay he didn’t play well today, but he will get goals, you seen already this season how good he will be. If those players can gel, I think they will do better in the Premier League without Jack Grealish.”