Ross McCrorie admits he made his mind up to leave Rangers a year ago.
The Scotland Under-21 captain has joined Aberdeen on loan for the rest of the season, with an agreement in place to make it a permanent switch come the summer.
The Pittodrie move – which will cost the Dons £350,000 – ends boyhood Gers fan McCrorie's decade-long association with the Light Blues.
Now the 22-year-old has revealed he realised last summer before departing for a loan spell at Portsmouth that he would have to move on from Ibrox for the good of his career.
Former manager Pedro Caixinha tipped the Gers academy graduate to become a star for club and country when he handed him his debut back in 2017.
McCrorie – who is set to make his Dons debut when they take on St Johnstone in Perth on Thursday night – said: "I'm not going to lie, I'm absolutely buzzing to get up here.
"The reason why I went to Pompey last year was because I felt if I stayed at Rangers, my development was going to stall.
"Now the opportunity at Aberdeen has arose and for me I had to get a permanent move somewhere and to get somewhere settled.
"For me, I thought Aberdeen was the best place to come and develop as a player."
Asked if it was tough to leave Rangers, he said: "Nah, it was pretty easy for me to be fair. It's my career so I've got to do what's best for myself.
"It had been coming ever since I moved to Pompey, I'd started thinking then that I'd have to leave.
"Once I came back from down south I told the club that it was time for me to leave, that I had to go.
"It's not any good for me staying and Aberdeen is the best place for me to go show what I can do.
"I don't want to talk about anything to do with Rangers now. It's all about Aberdeen for me, I'm an Aberdeen player and that's my sole focus now."