Steven Gerrard was quickly confirmed as Smith's replacement during the international break after Villa Park decision makers decided five consecutive Premier League losses was too much to take.
Gerrard is a box office appointment for the club still hoping the Jack Grealish money gained and spent last summer can help them challenge at the top end.
Smith, less high-profile but more experienced than Gerrard, has already found gainful employment and has landed the mammoth task of trying to help basement club Norwich avoid another relegation.
Villa fans will be divided and sad to see Smith - a man who gained promotion for them and then kept them in the Premier League - depart but also excited to what Gerrard can bring following his spell as Liverpool youth manager and a largely successful but brief stint at Rangers...albeit against a struggling Celtic last season.
It all amounts to an intriguing environment for Graham Potter's seventh-placed Brighton to enter into.
Potter, who spent part of his international break sleeping rough on the streets of Brighton to raise awareness to the huge homelessness problem in the city, has enjoyed a decent season so far.
Brighton are seventh in the league standings but have not won in their last five - drawing four and losing once to Man City.
Within that run however they performed well in the 2-2 draw at Liverpool, while their stalemate against inform Arsenal at the Amex was possibly Albion's best displays of the season.
Potter's men looked a little off the pace in the second half of their 1-1 draw against Newcastle just prior to the break but should return refreshed to tackle the Gerrard factor
Potter will be without his No 1 goalkeeper Rob Sanchez following his red card against Newcastle. Jason Steele is set to make his first Premier League appearance for Albion, having captained the team in their Carabao Cup matches this season.
"I have absolutely no doubts about Jason," said Potter after the Newcastle draw. "He's a fantastic goalkeeper and we have every faith in him."
Tariq Lamptey, who started for the first time in 10 months against Newcastle after his hamstring troubles, will hope to be included once more.
The flying young wing back has looked sharp on his return and the international break would have given the former Chelsea man a further two weeks to fine-tune his fitness.
Defender Dan Burn (knee) could be available once more while the break would also have allowed Adam Webster further time to recover from his hamstring problem.
Danny Welbeck is said to be making progress from his hamstring problem and is expected back around Christmas time. Aaron Connolly - who was fined for speeding on the A259 during the international break - should be available to face Villa as he has been back in training following a heel injury.
Steven Alzate remains absent with a long-term ankle problem.
Predicted Albion line-up:
Steele, Duffy, Dunk, Webster; Lamptey, Bissouma, Mwepu, Lallana, Cucurella, Trossard, Maupay
Predicted Villa line-up:
Martinez; Cash, Konsa, Mings, Targett; Luiz, Buendia, McGinn; Watkins, Bailey, Ings.
What time is kick-off?
The match kicks-off at Villa Park on Saturday, November 20 at 3pm.
Is the match live on TV
The match will not be shown live but highlights will be available on Match of the Day on BBC1 at 10.30pm
Referee: Anthony Taylor. Assistants: Gary Beswick, Adam Nunn. Fourth official: Stuart Attwell. VAR: Peter Bankes. Assistant VAR: Lee Betts.