The former Bolton Wanderers junior penned a deal to 2014 yesterday.
"If I'm honest, I don't think I was anywhere near the level to play for Arsenal last season," he told the club's official website.
"But I've come back, I feel really strong and I feel that I am ready now.
"I am a little bit different to the other centre-backs.
"I like the physical side of the game and I see myself as a leader.
"If Arsene decides that he wants me in the first team then that will be fantastic."