Whelan faced a great deal of criticism during his first few weeks at Villa, with claret and blues’ fans failing to see what the central midfielder offered.
However, as Vila’s form has improved, Whelan’s performances have become better and better.
The Republic of Ireland is now playing a vital role in the Villans’ midfield.
And Bruce said that Whelan was the best player on the pitch, during his side’s 2-0 victory over Ipswich Town yesterday.
He said: “Whelan has played three games in a week.
“For his age, to do that was fantastic. I thought he was the best player on the pitch. It's a great testament to him.”
Albert Adomah stole the headlines off Whelan, after scoring two goals against Ipswich, as he continued his fine form.
Villa have picked up some excellent results recently, with Bruce’s side starting to hit top gear.
Villa are currently in fourth place in the Championship table, and they are starting to put pressure on the top two.