Lucas Perez admits his time spent win Ukraine has helped him achieve success in his career.
The Spanish striker spent three years in the Eastern European country with Karpaty Lviv and Dynamo Kyiv before a stint in Greece with PAOK.
The 28-year-old told Arsenal Player that his experiences in Ukraine have assisted him greatly in finally making the move to a big club and he plans to use that know-how to deliver for the Gunners this season and beyond.
"A few of us got the chance to go and play in Ukraine - I went along with two other Spaniards," Lucas said.
"It was a chance to play in Europe and looked a huge opportunity for us. The three of us weighed it up and decided to go for it.
"One thing led to another, I spent three years of my life in Ukraine. It was really tough because of the distance, the culture, the food… you have to adapt to the climate too. It was very difficult.
"It was a good experience because leaving Spain to go to Ukraine taught me a lot about life. It helped me to figure out what I wanted, to mature and to grow as a person and as a footballer.
"It really helped me on a personal level, but it wasn't a great experience. It was very hard - there were some tough times.
"I realised that what I really wanted to do was to go to the Spanish league, the Premier League or another big league and play for a big team like Arsenal. My dream was to play in the Premier League or La Liga.
"My career has been on an upward curve from the moment I left for Ukraine right up until today. I feel really happy and I want to take advantage of the opportunity I have. I want to prove the kind of player I am here at a big club."