Riyad Mahrez never had doubts over his ability to fit in at Manchester City and has no plans to leave the Premier League champions.
Mahrez had not started for Pep Guardiola’s side in the league since April 3, but was included in City’s starting XI against Brighton and Hove Albion in Sunday’s title-sealing 4-1 rout.
The former Leicester City star – who led the Foxes’ charge to the title in 2015-16 – repaid Guardiola’s faith, providing the assist for Aymeric Laporte to head City in front after Sergio Aguero had cancelled out Glenn Murray’s opener, before hammering in a third midway through the second half.
And despite struggling to assert himself as a regular starter, Mahrez insisted he always believed in his own quality.
“It’s not easy to come to a team who are settled and have the players who play,” he told UK newspaper reporters.
“That squad did everything last season. I knew it wouldn’t be easy in my first year but I’m very confident in myself and have no doubts about my quality.
“I knew that, when I had my chance, I’d take it. I scored at Brighton and helped the team.”
Rumours have circulated that Mahrez would look for an exit from City in the off-season, but the Algeria international dismissed the suggestion.
“I’m very happy here,” Mahrez added. “I’m not going somewhere else because I don’t play. It’s part of the game.
“I need to be strong, stay strong. It’s part of my personality. I never hide from things.”
City – who also won the EFL Cup – could still win a remarkable domestic treble this campaign, with the FA Cup final against Watford coming up on Saturday.