The Ghana winger was expected to leave when manager Steve Bruce, before the start of last season, pointed out that Atsu was not in his plans.
Atsu stayed and had to endure not playing even a single Premier League match, 10 minutes of first-team football and then training with the reserve team.
“I made the decision myself to stay there and finish my contract and then leave. So, it’s not the coach’s fault, it’s my own decision. And I say I never regret any decision I take in life. Because this is me, so I’m very happy about the decision I made,” Atsu said in an interview with 3Sports.
“When the gaffer told me that, I wasn’t worried about the football side; it was just my kids, my family and my partner that I was thinking about.”
Atsu landed at Newcastle United, initially on loan from Chelsea and after helping them secure Premier League promotion in 2017, he signed a four-year deal worth £6.2 million.
The transfer ended his association with Chelsea, having joined the Blues in 2013 for a reported £3.5 million, a surprise decision because he wasn’t assured of first-team football and Portuguese giants Porto were interested in extending his contract.
Atsu did not make a single appearance for Chelsea.
“I [have] left the premiership and it’s just that there are some things I don’t want to say here, but this is life and so whatever happens, you just take it like that but if you gave me the decision again and you rewind the world and you ask me, ‘Do you want to choose the Premiership?’ Anytime, I will choose the Premiership. Anytime,” he said.
The 29-year-old recently completed a lucrative move to Saudi Arabian top-flight club Al Raed.