Atletico de Madrid forward Yannick Carrasco has explained how he wanted to return to the club a year ago, but former team Dalian Yifang blocked the deal.
The 26-year-old, who moved to the Chinese Super League at the start of 2018, returned to Diego Simeone’s side in last month’s transfer window.
He has been in sterling form for the Chinese club last year – netting 17 goals in 25 league games and also providing eight assists.
Earlier this year, there had been reports that Italian giants Milan alongside English duo Arsenal and Manchester United had been interested in a deal for the then China-based player.
Carrasco joined Atleti from Monaco in the summer of 2015 and netted 23 goals in 124 appearances for Diego Simeone’s side, including in the 2016 Champions League final, before surprisingly moving to the Far East.
“A year ago I wanted to go back and they (Dalian) didn’t let me. They blocked the move and I was sad and annoyed, but I was professional. I did not say ‘I charge my money and I do not play,’” he explained in an interview with El Pais.
“When you are young you make decisions and I take responsibility for mine. Look, today I am here, I don’t know if it was a bad thing or not (to go to China), there were positive and negative things.
“I have matured a lot. Being important for Dalian Yifang made me mature because I had all the burden on my back. In the first year I had to save the team from relegatin and in the second I scored goals and provided assists that served helped the team grow.”
The Belgian international has now returned to Madrid to bolster Simeone’s squad for the season run-in.