Zeki Fryers believes his development at Tottenham proves that young players can leave Manchester United and still be successful.
Fryers made the bold decision to depart Old Trafford in acrimonious circumstances to join Belgian side Standard Liege in the summer of 2012, but only made seven appearances in six months before returning to England with Tottenham in January 2013.
And Fryers, who says he still talks regularly to former United youth team-mate Ravel Morrison, believes his career path has made him a better player than the one who left the Premier League champions.
"I wanted a new adventure," he told reporters.
"There were certain things at United that didn't fall my way and I thought it was time to move on. I left some friends there and some of them are doing well, but that's just football.
"I wanted to go abroad to further my career because it's rare that Englishmen go abroad, so I wanted to try something new.
"Liege was a great experience and then in January there were a few options and Spurs was the best one to further my career.
"I felt I wanted to be more involved around the first team. I've come here and been involved regularly. A lot of people say that when you leave United you go down, but I think I've gone up."
Fryers' move to Tottenham incurred the wrath of Sir Alex Ferguson - Spurs had initially tried to sign him directly from United but could not agree a suitable compensation package, only to acquire him from Liege six months later - but the 21-year-old insists there was nothing underhand about the move.
"There were always going to be accusations, but after finishing in Belgium I just decided that Spurs was the best for my development," he added.
"I spoke with Sir Alex and felt it was my time to leave. I didn't say anything disrespectful to him and he didn't disrespect me."
When asked how he'd feel about playing against United on New Year's Day, Fryers replied: "I'd love to start against my old club. That'd be great."