Morgan Schneiderlin says it was an “easy decision” to join Everton, even though several clubs were interested in signing him from Manchester United.
The midfielder ended an 18-month spell with United on Thursday when he completed a £24m move to Everton.
He found opportunities hard to come by under Jose Mourinho this season, playing just 11 minutes in the Premier League.
But even though he was keen to exit Old Trafford in search of first-team football, he told Sky Sports: “When I made the decision to leave, I knew the choice was important.
“I knew a lot of clubs were interested. I spoke with a lot of managers but when Everton came I knew I had a platform because I knew the staff and it’s a big club, too. It was an easy decision.
“You need to know what you want in life. Me, I want to play football and enjoy it. That’s the most important thing, to play with a smile on my face and be able to play every weekend.
“I’m not the kind of player to sit on the bench and be happy. As soon as I saw I was not the first or second choice, I went to see the manager and told him face-to-face what I thought. We had a good discussion and I’m happy he understood.”
The move to Everton sees Schneiderlin reunite with manager Ronald Koeman, who he played under at Southampton.
And the midfielder could be available to make his debut against Manchester City on Sunday, live on Sky Sports.
“I’m very excited,” he said. “I want to play football. I want to play football for a club with ambition and I think I’ve found that with Everton.
“It’s a club with big history, big tradition, that wants to get to the top of the English league again. It was important for me to find a club like this and to play good football.”
Reflecting on his time at Old Trafford, Schneiderlin, who was signed by Louis van Gaal, said: “I didn’t arrive at the best time for Manchester United. There was a lot of criticism of the team and the way we were playing so it was a bit difficult. I learned a lot.
“Without being too arrogant, I think at Southampton I was considered one of the [league’s] good midfielders; that’s what gave me the move. A lot of people don’t know what happened – they don’t see inside the club and they’re thinking, ‘Oh, he didn’t make it’ but I know my quality.
“For some reason, I didn’t have a lot of games to build my confidence. It was frustrating sometimes but football can be like this and it’ll make me stronger. I’m confident in my capabilities.”