McLeish, who used to manage the Villans between 2011 and 2012, felt that his former side’s summer spending meant that they were always fighting an uphill battle.
Villa brought in a number of players during the summer transfer window when former boss Tim Sherwood was in charge, but the majority of them had no experience of playing in England.
And McLeish said: "When you recruit a lot of guys, talented they may be, and they may prove to be brilliant, but they are unproven in the Premier League, unproven sometimes even in their own leagues.
"It is difficult for these guys to settle in and hit the ground running straight away.
"That is why it has not surprised me that Villa have struggled this season. I think they need some experience."
Villa were trying to compensate for the losses of star players Christian Benteke and Fabian Delph by signing a large volume of footballers.
Their tactic has been unsuccessful though, and their start to the season has been nothing short of disastrous.
Despite a change of manager, Villa have been able to find any sort of form and they are now without a win in their last 16 Premier League matches.
Villa are already 10 points away from safety, and their chances of retaining their top flight status are looking very slim at this stage of the campaign.