French midfielder Lassana Diarra has joined Portsmouth from Arsenal.
The midfielder, who failed to win a regular first-team place at Arsenal, has signed a three-and-half-year deal for an undisclosed fee.
“I read that Arsenal wanted me to stay but if you want to keep a player, you make him play,” Diarra told L’Equipe.
“I’m very happy, I feel a lot better because I know I’m going to play (with Portsmouth),” the 22-year-old added.
Diarra, who only joined Arsenal last year from Chelsea, had recently complained about a lack of first-team opportunities since he arrived at the Emirates.
He said his main objective was to convince France coach Raymond Domenech to take him to Euro 2008.
“That’s the goal,” he said. “Raymond Domenech trusted me even when I was not playing and now, I’m going to play regularly. Some say that by joining Portsmouth, I’m making a mistake but I don’t think so.”
Portsmouth manager Harry Redknapp said Diarra would train with his new club for the first time on Friday ahead of Derby County’s visit to Fratton Park on Saturday.
“He’s a fantastic midfield player”, Redknapp said of his new signing. “In my opinion he’s already one of the best midfield players in the Premier League and has the ability to be one of the best there is.”