Youri Tielemans has explained why he opted to move from RSC Anderlecht to AS Monaco this summer, despite interest from Arsenal.
Per Marc Isaacs at the Mirror, the Belgian said he felt he would not see regular football with the Gunners due to the quality of players already in manager Arsene Wenger's squad:
"I knew not much was going to change with Arsenal's squad.
"Their management wanted to keep the same group of players together in order to finish high in the Premier League.
"I had to be honest with myself and take a look at the midfielders Arsenal have got. They are top-class players.
"I knew that I would not get many first-team chances with them, so I didn't give any more thought to joining them.
"I never said no to any club. But I made it clear where I wanted to go."
Tielemans enjoyed a fine season with Anderlecht last season that saw him nominated for the 2017 Golden Boy award for the best player under 21 in a calendar year and playing in a top-four European league, as shown by Squawka:
The 20-year-old helped his side to the 2016-17 Jupiler Pro League title and into the quarter-finals of the UEFA Europa League, where they were knocked out by eventual winners Manchester United.
An attacking playmaker, Tielemans played a crucial role in Anderlecht's European campaign as noted by WhoScored.com:
The Belgian has made an instant impression for Monaco, scoring the equaliser in their opening Champions League game against RB Leipzig with his first goal for his new club.
While Arsenal do possess plenty of quality in midfield with players such as Aaron Ramsey and Granit Xhaka, Tielemans' comments that he would not see regular football are surprising, particularly given his performances last season.
However, Monaco are also an attractive club and, unlike Arsenal, are able to offer Champions League football this season.
Head coach Leonardo Jardim has built an exciting young team that made it to the semi-finals of Europe's top tournament last season as well as scooping the Ligue 1 title ahead of Paris Saint-Germain.