Wilfred Bouma believes there are 'bright times ahead' for his former employers Aston Villa.
The Dutch defender is set to leave Villa Park this summer after five years of loyal service.
With a lengthy injury having kept him out of action for the best part of 18 months, Villa have decided against extending his contract.
Bouma harbours no ill-feeling towards the club, though, and admits he has thoroughly enjoyed his time in England.
During his stay Villa have secured three consecutive top-six finishes in the Premier League and have become realistic challengers for a UEFA Champions League berth.
Bouma feels it is only a matter of time before they take that next step, with Martin O'Neill the ideal manager to lead a promising young squad into an exciting future.
He told the club's official website: "It is bright times ahead. Villa already have a good squad and with some extra signings from the gaffer the squad will be even stronger.
"For the last couple of years you have seen Villa establish themselves as a top-six club.
"That's been very positive. The younger players will get stronger and more experienced. I have been there when I was young - you only get better and they will too.
"There have been big changes for the better since I joined. Since the new chairman and the gaffer came in, Villa have turned around. It's been really good."