Djibril Sidibe rejected a close-season move to Arsenal over fears he would not be a regular at the Emirates Stadium.
Sidibe subsequently signed for Monaco from Lille on a five-year deal, leaving Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger to turn to other targets.
The 24-year-old, who can play anywhere along the back-line, told France Football: “Monaco is one of the great French clubs. From a football perspective, their ambitions in Europe and participation in the Champions League are very interesting. And then I needed a place where I could progress with quality players, even if that already existed at Lille.
“With Arsenal, I thought about it for a long time, but in terms of playing time, I knew I would be very limited, between 15 and 20 matches.
“That was not formally said to me, but I did their line-up in my head because there is quite strong competition for places.
“And then in England, it is a risk. A lot of young players have gone there without the necessary skills.
“So I said to myself, do another year or two in Ligue 1, take as much from it as possible, and why not, then play there [in England].”