Grealish, sidelined for almost a month with a shin injury, will miss tonight’s game against Newcastle United.
Bruce managed the midfielder during his time at Villa Park, and he said: “Look, when you’re without your best players – and certainly Jack, in my opinion, is their best player – then, of course, you’re going to miss him.
“He’s had a wonderful rise over the last few years. I had the pleasure of managing him for a couple of years, and have watched his development. He’s turned into a top, top player, the kid. They’re a better side when Jack’s in it, it’s as simple as that.”
Villa head coach Dean Smith said: “Jack Grealish is a lot better, but you won’t see him at Newcastle, unfortunately. It hasn’t helped that he’s been ill this week, which has kept him off for a couple of days.”