Raheem Sterling felt like he lost his “identity” under Manuel Pellegrini and is enjoying the freedom granted to him by new Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola.
Sterling joined City for a reported £49 million ahead of the 2015-16 campaign, but was criticised during a modest debut season at the Etihad Stadium, completing 90 minutes in the Premier League on just eight occasions and contributing six goals.
This term the former Liverpool winger has been rejuvenated, supplying two assists and four goals in his 10 top-flight outings.
Sterling points to a greater freedom to express himself under Guardiola, whose tactics enable him to focus on getting back to his natural game.
“I’m enjoying it. I feel a lot more freedom, I feel I can get on the ball a bit more and I feel like I express myself by taking touches and trying to take players on,” the 21-year-old told BBC Sport.
“Under the previous coach I think it was, not to say anything negative, but in training it was always two touches and you kind of just get into that way of playing and you forget your identity and how to play.
“That’s not my style of play. My style of play is to get the ball and try to go at players and now I’m learning to mix it up as well and not just every single time go down a blind alley, and know when to take two touches and when to take my man on.”