Former Aston Villa striker Stan Collymore believes fans should not doubt that skills of managar Martin O'Neill when it comes to making moves in the transfer market.
Villa supporters are becoming restless with the impending loss of skipper Gareth Barry to Liverpool and the lack of activity so far in the transfer market. But Collymore, who played for Villa between 1997 and 2000 before joining O'Neill at Leicester City, believes his former Foxes' boss is a shrewd operator and fans should be patient.
And although many are now resigning themselves to the loss of Barry any day now, Collymore believes if there is one Premier League manager who can persuade the England midfielder to stay - then it is O'Neill.
Collymore, who has just secured his own show on TalkSport Radio covering the European Championships this summer, said: "Villa are up there now and Martin O'Neill certainly doesn't need anyone to tell him about what he needs and who he needs to buy.
"The problem Villa have is that Manchester City, Portsmouth, Spurs are all not far behind them and looking at spending money as well. They will also be after similar players. The advantage Villa have however is their manager. Martin, once you meet him, is quite persuasive and loyal to the players he does take on board.
"If there is one man who can attract good players it is him and that might yet be the key to Gareth Barry staying."
Collymore, who himself had an illustrious career at Liverpool, added: "Martin knows there is no reason why Villa can't push on for the top automatic European places next season whether Gareth Barry goes or stays.
"For me, with a few new additions, they will be able to make that step up. I wouldn't get carried away with notions of the Champions League just yet - to my mind those places are still locked off by the top clubs.
"There is perhaps a chance that one day another club will break in there. Maybe next year it may even be Everton or Spurs but I think it will be difficult for any of the other clubs just yet."
The former England International continued: "Villa need players and Martin is the man to bring them in. He is a top quality football manager and wherever he has been as manager he has won trophies. He won trophies with Leicester and with Celtic.
"Of course recruiting is more difficult now because so many players are moving around Europe now. Look at Arsenal - they are losing Flamini and Hleb - two of their best players. If even Arsenal can't keep their stars and are losing players then you can see how difficult it will be for a club like Villa to keep Barry or go and spend £7 million or maybe even £10 million and get in the type of players they need. I hope O'Neill gets them because Villa deserve it with what they have achieved this season.
"It is a global football market now and players go off to Spain or Germany or Italy and then they come back for a couple of seasons.
"It is very important you can to produce your own players and that is something else Villa are good at. Birmingham is a great place to find young talent and I am sure Martin is well aware of that.
"I am sure he will try and get five or six youngsters through eventually to the first team along the route Gabby Agbonlahor has taken."
He added: "The problem is fans are impatient and want instant success but there is real scope for Villa to be a major success in a couple of years' time.
"As a Villa fan there is nothing I would like more than to go to Villa Park in four or five years time and see seven or eight home grown players playing alongside one or two world class superstars. If Martin goes down that road then I am sure long-term success will follow."