Manchester City coach Pep Guardiola has praised the return of Algerian striker Riad Mehrez to shine after a strong start to the new season, stressing that it will be one of the main pillars of the team.

With German international winger Leroy Sanet missing for at least five months due to a cruciate ligament injury to his right knee, Mehrez will have plenty of chances to impose himself in the squad this season after suffering last season after moving from Leicester City for around 67 million euros.

Mehrez scored remarkably on Wednesday in the match against Ukraine's Shakhtar Donetsk (3-0) in Kharkiv in the first round of the Champions League, where he scored one goal and made another.

Guardiola said he believed the 28-year-old captain could become an important part of his plans as he adapted to the team's unique style of play.

"Riad played well last season, except for the first few games," he told reporters on the eve of hosting Watford in the sixth round of the Premier League.

"It took some time to adjust. The situation was different from Leicester. He used to play counter-attacks, but that's normal."

"But he likes to play football and loves training. He just wants to be always with the ball. He doesn't feel a lot of pressure and he has a lot of confidence in himself. I like that kind of player."

"If he makes a bad attempt, he wants to get the ball back in order to try again. He is a good player, but he needs only one thing to relax more when he doesn't play."