Jordan Henderson is preparing for his first return to Sunderland today insisting he has no regrets over swapping the Stadium of Light for Anfield last summer.
The boyhood Sunderland fan admits he's relishing a return to the north-east to take on his former club as Liverpool look for a victory to keep their hopes of a top four finish alive.
Henderson accepts he hasn't yet shown his very best form in a Liverpool shirt, but he believes he's at the right club to flourish over the coming years.
"Don't get me wrong, I loved my time at Sunderland," he says. "I was a fan, I was a kid at the academy and came through the system, and they made me the person I am.
"I loved it, I really did. So many people there helped me to become a footballer, and it felt like I was part of a family, but I knew without doubt it was time to move.
"I'll go back with so much affection, but no regrets. I look around at Liverpool and everything about the club says it is massive.
"I'm not saying we're going to win the league tomorrow, but the club is set up to be successful and to win major trophies. That's the aim here, and it's why I came - why I couldn't turn the chance down."
With a Carling Cup medal to show for his first season at Anfield, Henderson is pleased with the way his Liverpool career has started - but he admits there have also been difficult moments to contend with.
"Of course I've heard the criticism - you can't ignore it. And I accept they have a right to make it," he said.
"When you look at the price-tag, then you're always going to get it. But the only response I can have is to try to keep improving - by playing as much as I can, to keep learning and keep getting better.
"You have setbacks in life - you've got to deal with them and use them to make you mentally stronger.
"It's not exactly been a horrendous season, but yeah, there have been difficult times. I've enjoyed it here, it's a massive club and it is not always as easy as people may think to settle in immediately.
"What do you do? You have to keep playing and improving, and at a club like this, with players of the quality of Steven Gerrard and Luis Suarez around you, you are going to improve by learning from them.
"Results haven't always been as good as they should be in the league, and it is easy to make excuses.
"With me, I could say, 'I'm a young player, I've played in different positions', but I don't want to make any excuses.
"It could be better, and that's the bottom line. But there are a lot of positives too. We lost against Arsenal last week, but you saw how well we played, and we can take an awful lot of positives from that.
"It's about progression. That's why I came here, to progress, and I think I can do that."