Joachim Andersen claims the lure of Champions League football was enough to persuade him to seal a £22million transfer to Lyon and reject an approach from Arsenal.
Andersen made 34 appearances for Sampdoria last season which brought the intention of a number of clubs across Europe, with Tottenham and Arsenal heavily linked with the player.
However, it was the Ligue 1 side who agreed a €30million deal for Andersen, with €25million paid up front, with €5million in add-ons.
But it seems a move to Arsenal did present itself as a genuine opportunity with Andersen admitting that while the Gunners were an interesting proposition, Lyon in the end made the most tempting offer.
Speaking to Foot Mercato, Andersen said: “There were good clubs, but Lyon was the best choice for me.
“I wanted to develop as a player, play the Champions League, be in a top team that fights for the title and Lyon was the best solution.”
The Gunners did end up strengthening their defence with the capture of David Luiz and Kieran Tierney in the final days of the window and their transfer dealings drew praise from former Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho.
The Gunners went on to make a promising start to the season with two successive wins, but defeat at Liverpool last time out saw a number of pundits question their tactics, with Ian Wright especially critical of Unai Emery.
Get the latest personalised Arsenal products on our new TEAMtalk Gunners shop!