Aymeric Laporte said he was right to initially turn down Pep Guardiola and Manchester City in 2016 before joining the Premier League leaders in January.
French defender Laporte swapped Athletic Bilbao for City in a club-record £57million deal last month.
The 23-year-old, who remains uncapped by France, appeared set to link up with Guardiola at the Etihad Stadium 18 months earlier but the deal fell through.
Speaking ahead of Sunday's EFL Cup final against Arsenal, Laporte said: "I was injured and I didn't think it was the right moment for me to come here.
"The injury complicated things a bit but I knew that if I kept working hard, the chance would come as City knew the potential I had.
"I know what I have to do and what I had to work on."
Laporte said: "I wanted to join City mainly because of the mister. I have already learned a lot from Pep in the short time I've been here. He's such an influential figure in the world of football.
"Then I looked at the team he has and there are so many young players at a similar age to myself, and that was a major factor in my thinking."