The 22-year-old departed Anfield to sign a one-year deal with Oldham Athletic in August last year after finding opportunities on Merseyside hard to come by.
McLaughlin was sat in the stands watching his brother Conor play for Northern Ireland at Euro2016 in the summer which he says was the motivating factor for his decision to leave the Reds.
It has paid dividends as the right-back has won his first national team call-up in two years for the upcoming World Cup qualifier against Norway.
"It was the main reason why I left Liverpool," he told Press Association Sport.
"(Jurgen) Klopp wasn't letting players go out on loan - though he changed his mind a couple of months later - he wanted them all in the reserve team but I was 21 at the time, I had been in the reserves for four years.
"I needed to get out.
"I loved my time at Liverpool and I got a lot of support from the people there but I'm sort of glad to be on my own pathway now and just trying to do as well as I can and stay fit."