Tiemoue Bakayoko does not believe that he took a step back in his career by deciding to leave Chelsea for Monaco last summer.
Bakayoko returned to Monaco on a loan deal last year and the Ligue 1 giants have an option to buy the midfielder at the end of the season.
The Frenchman was a big-money signing for Chelsea when they secured him from Monaco in 2017, but he struggled to settle down and was sent on loan to AC Milan after just one season.
He was not part of Chelsea’s plans under Frank Lampard last summer and Bakayoko admits that he did not immediately consider returning to Monaco as he wanted to stay at Stamford Bridge.
But he feels once he realised that had no place at Chelsea, Monaco became the obvious option.
The Frenchman told French sports daily L’Equipe: “I did not immediately tell myself that it was the best option because I really wanted to continue at Chelsea.
“But I felt that it would not go as I wanted and Monaco appeared.
“It became an obvious choice.”
He is aware that people consider his return to Monaco a step back, but Bakayoko insisted that they remain a big club such as AC Milan, where he spent last season on loan.
“I understand that people think that way and expected that because I left after great things and came back to a club coming out of a bad season.
“But Monaco remain a big club, for me, it is same as being at Milan.”