Former Villa attacker Merson has suggested that the Villans should have made a bid for the 26-year-old striker.
“Villa had to buy in the window, even if you buy players you know can help you get back up if you do go down,” the former England international wrote in The Daily Star.
“Jordan Rhodes. Proven goalscorer in the Championship. Take a chance. See if he can keep you up. If he can’t, he’ll give you a great chance of bouncing straight back.”
Rhodes had been on the books of Blackburn since 2012 and is rated as one of the best strikers in the Championship.
The 26-year-old striker scored nine goals and created 14 chances in 24 Championship games for Rovers this season.
The Scotland international had a pass accuracy of 64% and a shot accuracy of 50%, and won 64 headers, one dribble and six tackles.
During the 2014-15 campaign, Rhodes scored 21 goals and created 38 chances in 45 Championship games for Blackburn.
Rhodes is a proven goalscorer but in the Championship, and it would have been a gamble for Villa to sign him in January.