The midfielder signed a new one-year deal earlier this month.
He told The Sun: "I was quite close in January to thinking it was the end for me at Chelsea. I'd been injured, the manager had changed. It was an uncertain period.
"I'd had a couple of conversations with the club and I did think I might be leaving then. I didn't want to leave. I'd let everyone know, I'd made it clear - without sounding desperate - that I wanted to stay at the football club.
"But after that, only your football can do the talking.
"I just thought 'If I keep playing well and keep trying to contribute then hopefully something will happen.' And we got there!"