Henrikh Mkhitaryan says he researched the history of Manchester United and the people of the city before he joined in the summer.
Mkhitaryan moved to Old Trafford from Borussia Dortmund for £26.3million, and after an inauspicious start he has emerged as a key player under Jose Mourinho.
The Armenian struggled to break into the first team initially, once missing eight consecutive Premier League games from September to November.
But he now has three goals and one assist in the league, having started only nine of his 15 appearances.
“Manchester United are not just any football club,” he told SportBild.
“A part of the association with this club means to be part of a great story.
“That also means when you play for United you must always be ready, always try to get the best from yourself.
“If you keep trying to do this and produce the performance, then you always get a chance. But if you do not, then you are out quickly.
“I did not want to later look back in my life and say, ‘Why would you not make times change?’.
“I do not want to miss a thing. Life is too short, too short to pass this opportunity up.
“Sure, my agent Mino Raiola helped me in this, but in the end the decision for Manchester United — I made that alone.
“Then you have to be prepared. So I have prepared myself. I read about the history of England, of Manchester. I wanted to know how people here live, their interests.
“I also analysed English football. The important thing was you have to be mentally ready.”