Kevin de Bruyne says he has flourished in the Premier League at Manchester City as the club have made him feel important.
The Belgium playmaker finally joined City in a club record £54million deal from Wolfsburg last August after months of speculation.
In public City gave little away during their lengthy negotiations for the former Chelsea player but, behind the scenes, De Bruyne was in no doubt how much the club wanted him.
De Bruyne said: “I think the thing that most gave me confidence at that particular time was that they were busy trying to contact me.
“They called every day until the day that I signed here. They pushed for me to come and for me that gave me a great sign that they were interested and that I could be important over here.”
De Bruyne quickly established himself at the Etihad Stadium and was sorely missed during a recent two-month lay-off with a knee injury.
He made a welcome return to action with a goal in last weekend’s Premier League thrashing of Bournemouth and followed up with a vital strike in midweek to help City secure a 2-2 draw at Paris St Germain in their Champions League quarter-final first leg.
Now with 14 goals for the season it seems De Bruyne has slotted back in as if never away, and the 24-year-old says he has felt at ease since the day he arrived.
He said: “I’ve only been here for just over six months but the way I integrated went really well and straight away I felt really good in the team and I think you saw that from the beginning on the pitch.”
De Bruyne’s return to action has coincided with that of another forward in Samir Nasri, who ended a near six-month absence when he featured against Bournemouth last Saturday.
Such was the severity of the Frenchman’s thigh injury, which required surgery, City did not register him for their Champions League squad in the second half of the season.
But now he is back and available for league games, manager Manuel Pellegrini has urged him to show fans and team-mates what they have been missing.
Pellegrini said: “It was a very unlucky injury because it was in a training session without any problem. He shot a ball and he felt that something happened in his muscle, and it was very hard.
“I am happy for him because he has worked very well in the last month. He has returned maybe a little bit earlier than the doctor expected, that’s why he is not in the Champions League list, but I am very happy to be telling you about him.
“I hope in the last games of the Premier League he will demonstrate how good a player he is.”