Pep Guardiola has admitted that Leroy Sane "didn't arrive good" after joining Manchester City from Schalke last summer.
The German youngster took some time to adjust to the Premier League, but soon established himself as one of the most talented attacking players in the division.
And after his superbly taken goal against Crystal Palace in Saturday's 5-0 victory, Guardiola reflected on his progress.
“He didn’t arrive good,” the Catalan coach said, quoted by the Mirror. “He didn’t make a good pre-season, he wasn’t good in those games, and he didn’t deserve to play.
“Sometimes players need a bit more time than the others.
“When he arrived last season it was a little bit scary – a new country, no apartment, living in a hotel, and he had to get used to the tempo of the Premier League, which isn’t easy for anyone.
“But once he got it and started to play regularly and score goals, he was at a high level and he’s showing that this season, too.”
Sane opened the scoring in the rout of Palace, a result that kept City top of the Premier League ahead of Manchester United on goal difference.
But Guardiola has insisted that it would be premature to take any importance from goals scored and conceded.
“Chelsea won 4-0 at Stoke and United have kept five or six clean sheets,” Guardiola said. “So the competition is so tough, all the big teams are strong.
“We’re in September now, so maybe in March, if everything is still tight, goal difference will be important. But let’s not focus on that right now.
“We always try to score as many goals as we can for our fans, but it’s too early to say whether that will mean we’ll win the Premier League.”