Andrea Bertolacci says that the cost of his move from Roma to AC Milan a year ago put enormous pressure on him and has vowed to have a better season for the Serie A club.
The central midfielder has largely failed to live up to his promise, but he feels the new campaign is an opportunity for him to begin anew.
"That label did weigh on me unconsciously, but what can I say? I had proved myself at Genoa and the market sets the price," Bertolacci told La Gazzetta dello Sport.
"I cannot be expected to explain the way the transfer market works. Would I have signed me for €20m? I don't know, but at €16-17m definitely.
"I can begin again because I know the club and environment now. It is in my nature to enter a new situation on tip-toes. I am timid and reserved, with great respect at the base of everything.
"Now I know what it means to be at Milan and this will be my strength. I believe that I am a balanced person, trying to set the example for others and at the same time learning from my team-mates so I can improve.
"I am well aware that my first season wasn't great and I am not seeking an alibi. It is not in my nature. I do want to point out one thing, which is that every time I was starting to get on track and become the 'real' Andrea, I'd get injured.
"The muscular problems really affected me. It's not justification for my form, but at least explains why I delivered less than expected. In any case, I take full responsibility for my performances."