Aston Villa manager Martin O'Neill has no doubt Newcastle's decision to sell James Milner is his gain and their loss.
England Under-21 international winger Milner will return to St James' Park on Monday for the first time since O'Neill spent £12million to sign him in August.
O'Neill said: "The offer from Villa was too good for Newcastle to turn down and James is worth every penny of the fee."
He added: "My own view is that if James had been given a new contract at Newcastle I think he would have stayed.
"James had played a lot of games for Newcastle and if they were stalling on a new contract we had a great opportunity to get him in.
"I think he is doing very well for us. He conjured up something from nothing for the second goal against Blackburn Rovers on Wednesday. It was fantastic.
"James working hard for a football team becomes second nature to him as it does with the likes of Ashley Young.
"He has good energy, great determination, good skill and will definitely improve. I have no doubts about James. As a character he is top class."
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