Bobby Duncan chose to leave Liverpool for Fiorentina because they "matched my ambitions. It wasn't over money. I wanted to make a name for myself."
Duncan joined the Viola last summer for £1.8m after a controversial exit from Liverpool, when his agent Saif Rubie accused the Reds of bullying the player and blocking any potential moves from the club.
"It was a difficult decision to be honest. I was in a difficult moment at that time," Duncan told ViolaNation.com.
"Something was missing. It wasn’t over money. It wasn’t over anything else other than I want to play first team football soon. Liverpool has Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mane, Rhian Brewster. That front three is the best front three in the world. It was hard to knock them down.
"In my mind, I thought I would go and play abroad. Serie A is just below the Premier League. I wanted to make a name for myself, show the Liverpool and Fiorentina fans who I am. I always loved Liverpool, but my love now is to the Fiorentina fans. I need to repay them for showing me the love since I arrived.
"Leaving Liverpool was a difficult decision. I was only there for a year, but I didn’t see the path forward for me there."
Asked about why he chose Fiorentina, the cousin of former Liverpool legend Steven Gerrard cited their hopes for the future.
"There were a couple clubs coming after me. I thought that with the new owners coming in, with Rocco Commisso wanting to win trophies, build the club up, it matched my ambitions. I thought it would be an unbelievable experience to get into the first team, develop under Vincenzo Montella and Emiliano Bigica. Vincenzo Virgene believes in me. Hopefully I can pay them back now."
Duncan is one of relatively few English players who are trying to make their mark in a foreign league.
"Italy is more physical and tactical. England it is more possession. Italy is feistier. When you step on the pitch, it’s war here. In England we play out of the back. It’s different, but in many ways not that much.
"I think I am better served in the Italian game though. I like that here I can get into it. I love the scoring goals, but I like the dirty side of the game as well."
The player also advised other young English players to be more adventurous.
"Believe in yourself and make the move. Make the sacrifices, you need to. Since age eight I have sacrificed friends, school, family, everything for this sport. For those up and coming English players I just say believe in yourselves. Put in the work, make the sacrifices, and find a way to see it through."
Watch Serie A live in the UK on Premier Sports for just £9.99 per month including live LaLiga, Eredivisie, Scottish Cup Football and more. Visit: https://subscribe.premiersports.tv/