Watford midfielder Nathaniel Chalobah says he decided to leave Chelsea as he would have "got frustrated" at being sent out on loan again.
The 22-year-old came through the youth system at Stamford Bridge but spent time on loan at six different clubs.
Chalobah joined Watford for a reported £5m fee on a five-year deal last month, having made 15 appearances for Chelsea - all last season.
"I wanted to come out and play," Chalobah told BBC Three Counties Radio.
Chalobah signed professional terms with Chelsea in 2012 and regularly captained both the reserve and youth sides.
He found a path to the first team difficult, instead making temporary moves to Watford, Nottingham Forest, Middlesbrough, Burnley, Reading and Serie A side Napoli.
Many Chelsea players are sent out elsewhere; the club have 25 players on loan at clubs around England and Europe.
Chalobah added: "Being at Chelsea, I would have signed a new deal and gone out on loan again and got frustrated. That was the choice I had to make, but it was emotional leaving Chelsea.
"The conversation I had with the manager Antonio Conte was positive but it was a decision I had to make after being on loan six times."
Chalobah spoke highly about his loan spell at Vicarage Road in 2012-13, when he made 42 appearances.
He said: "Watford was my first loan and things went well. It was my best loan and positive when I was here. I was looking forward to coming back."
England senior squad the aim
Chalobah was part of the England Under-21 side who reached the semi-finals of the European Championships in Poland in June.
He is aiming to break into the senior England side, who face Malta and Slovakia in their next World Cup qualifiers in September.
"It is an opportunity for me," he said. "England manager Gareth Southgate has always said that if I am doing well at my club, he likes what he sees, then there is a definite chance of getting in his team. I have got to grasp it with both hands and put the performances forward.
"He has had this conversation with the whole of the Under-21s and made it clear. He has drafted in Southampton's Nathan Redmond and James Ward-Prowse who are the same age as me.
"That is positive because it shows if you are doing well at your club, there is no reason why you won't get your chance."