Cape Town - Manchester City star Riyad Mahrez says he is relishing
playing in a more central creative role where he has more attacking channels
open to him.
The Algerian winger is earning plaudits after scoring three
times in his last two outings, in the comfortable victories over Manchester
United and Aston Villa.
Mahrez had struggled to find any type of real consistency
since making his £60m move to the Etihad from Leicester City 18 months ago,
with some supporters questioning the wisdom behind his signing.
The 28-year-old, however, has recently been a stand-out
figure for Pep Guardiola's side in a revised 3-4-3 system, which gives him the freedom
to join up more centrally with forwards Sergio Aguero and Gabriel Jesus.
His well-taken brace in the 6-1 rout of Villa took his goal
tally for the season to nine, in addition to 13 assists so far, underlining
just how confident he now feels in the Citizens' star-studded squad.
The ex-Le Havre man is likely to keep his place when
Guardiola's team host Crystal Palace on Saturday and admitted his adapted
attacking role is one, he thoroughly enjoys.
The Africa Cup of Nations winner said: "I like to play
in this more axial role - let's say as a 'No.10 discarded.'
"Here in Manchester City, we know how to spin the ball,
we know where the spaces are and use our passing circuits. So, when you get
back on the field, you know exactly what to do. From there, you take pleasure
Mahrez added: "You put yourself in between the spaces
and the ball comes to you all alone. Then in the last thirty metres, it's up to
me to be creative and make a difference."
Team-mate Raheem Sterling was dropped for the game at Villa
Park after showing some recent signs of fatigue, although the England winger is
understood to be eager for a return to the equation.
- TeamTalk Media