Michael Mancienne insists he has become a much better footballer because of his experiences in Germany with Hamburg SV.
Mancienne enjoyed successful loan spells with QPR and Wolves during his time at Stamford Bridge but believes he has become a much-improved player in Germany.
"I thought the football would suit me better and it has - I have improved enormously," he told the Daily Mail.
"The quality shown by Bayern (Munich) and (Borussia) Dortmund in the Champions League (final) shows how good the league is. I definitely think the Bundesliga is at least on a par with the Premier League.
"I felt as a player it would improve me and that it would be the perfect challenge because football is a short career.
"All the better teams in England try to play football, but every team in Germany plays football no matter what level they are.
"You have to play from the back and I think that's been the biggest difference between the leagues.
"The tempo may be quicker in England and it is more high intensity when you play a team like Stoke when the ball is always coming long, which you just don't get in Germany."