Riyad Mahrez says he feels ‘better’ at Manchester City after a strong first half of the season for him personally.
Mahrez joined City in a £61m deal from Leicester City in 2018 managing 12 goals and 12 assists in all competitions last season.
Despite those numbers, his first year at the Etihad was seen as something of a disappointment, with more expected from the man who had inspired the Foxes to an unlikely Premier League title.
This summer he returned to Manchester City after inspiring Algeria to success at the Africa Cup of Nations and has built on that with a series of impressive performances this year.
He is now very much a part of the furniture in Pep Guardiola’s squad and admits he is feeling better than before.
“Now, I feel better here having started the season well,” he told DZ Foot.
“After the CAN, I had ten days of rest and therefore a slight break from vacation, but it was willed on my part. I wanted to continue.
“When you do this job, you will certainly have holidays, but you must first think about your football and your career.
“I thought it was necessary for me to come back to training quickly and lo and behold, I started off very well, even if in October, I played less because of the competition.
“Here, you have to be mentally strong and very efficient, because if you are not, you will always have someone who will take your place.”
Mahrez has undoubtedly seen an improvement in terms of his numbers, with nine goals and 13 assists in 28 games this season compared to his 12 and 12 in 48 games last season.
He was once again decisive at the weekend as he played a starring role in the 6-1 win over Aston Villa with two goals and an assist.
Previously to that, he had managed an assist in the wins over Everton and Sheffield United in what is proving to be a rich vein of form over the busy winter period.
Those numbers will delight Guardiola and Mahrez admits his number one aim is to improve his Manchester City numbers moving forward.
“It’s up to me to be creative and make a difference,” he added.
“My personal goal is to be even more decisive in number of goals and assists because as an attacking player, I only live by that.
“I will not see myself not being decisive for my team.
“Helping my partners is too important for me, and for that, I have to be decisive permanently on the ground in order to help my team as much as possible.”