Vlaar was outstanding for victory over Hull City.
McGrath had tweeted: "Vlaar leads by example and he isn't afraid of a tackle. I think he could go on to be one of the best players Villa have had at the back for a long time."
And the Dutchman told Villa's website: "If a legend like Paul McGrath has said something like that about me, it's really, really positive.
"It gives me a lot of energy because he was such a big player for this football club.
"I've actually read his autobiography and I was really impressed. What he did was exceptional.
"He didn't train a lot but he was there performing every Saturday - doing his job.
"What matters is how you perform in a game and he never let anyone down.
"I'm not thinking about trying to be like him, though. I just want to play as well as I can in every match. I just try to do my best."
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