Kieran Tierney admits that his £25 million ($31m) move from Celtic to Arsenal caused him “sleepless nights”, with the Scotland international finding it hard to tear himself away from his boyhood club.
The 22-year-old had long been linked with a transfer to the Premier League before one was finally pushed through in the summer of 2019.
Arsenal won the race for a much-coveted signature, with the Gunners buying into current ability and future potential.
Few had any doubts over Tierney’s ability to adapt to the demands of life in England.
He did, however, question whether the right decision was being made when preparing to pack his bags at Parkhead.
Tierney grew up as a Celtic supporter and, having graduated through their academy system, took in 170 appearances for the Old Firm giants before agreeing to take on a new challenge.
On his switch to Emirates Stadium, the highly-rated left-back told Sky Sports: “I had sleepless nights. It was a hard decision. I knew how big Arsenal were. They are a massive club in a massive league.
“It was obviously a great offer, but I still had sleepless nights thinking, ‘What’s the best thing to do here?’. It went on for ages.
“The first bid came in and I then signed on deadline day. At the same time, I was just coming back from my injury.
“I was like, ‘Don’t even focus on what’s going to happen, just work hard and get fit, everything happens for a reason’.
“Arsenal are a massive, massive club and when I came I realised that.”
Tierney arrived at Arsenal nursing a knock and fitness struggles have become an unfortunate theme for the youngster.
He has been restricted to just 11 appearances as a result, with a dislocated shoulder keeping him stuck on the sidelines for long periods.
Tierney admits the current campaign has been tough, with the coronavirus lockdown also doing him few favours as he seeks to force his way back into Mikel Arteta’s side.
He told SPORTbible in March: “The night at West Ham away was a hard night for me. I knew I had dislocated my shoulder in the first 10, 15 minutes and straight away you know what you've done.
“Then another 10 minutes, I did the same kind of thing. I landed differently. It was a set-piece and my arm just went into a position that wasn't comfortable at all and dislocated.
“It was heartbreaking because in my head I knew I needed an operation. Three times in 30 minutes, nobody's shoulder should be going like that.
“So in my head, I was like 'that's me out for another few months'. You know that and you know the devastation straight away. You can see it on my face.
“Being injured at the start of my Arsenal career was hard. Mentally, it was probably the toughest time of my life.”