Kevin de Bruyne reckons he failed to make an impact at Chelsea because of his "small transfer fee".
The midfielder joined the Blues from Genk in January 2012 for around £7m but spent most of his time away from Stamford Bridge.
He was loaned back to the Belgian club before being sent out for a further spell with Werder Bremen, and was then finally sold in early 2014 to Bundesliga side Wolfsburg for a sum in the region of £16m.
"Maybe things would have been different if Chelsea had to pay €45m (£32m) and not €8m (£6.7m) when I arrived from Racing Genk," De Bruyne told Sport-BILD weekly.
"A higher transfer fee would have potentially handed me a different sort of status inside the club. And possibly, handed me more chances (to play more regularly)."
The 23-year-old, who played just three times, says he felt sidelined in west London.
"Chelsea FC has not been the best choice at that point in time," he added.
"Being with Chelsea is like being in a different world. Manager Jose Mourinho did not explain to me why I was not playing more regularly for the club."
Wolfsburg are second in the Bundesliga – just eight points behind Bayern Munich – but while De Bruyne admits he feels far happier in Germany, he remains set on a second chance with a high-profile club.
"I feel very much at home with VfL Wolfsburg in this very moment," he added.
"Life in football can be fast-moving. Wolfsburg is not yet like Bayern Munich, of course and my biggest ambition is to play for a big European club – one I can win trophies with."