Raheem Sterling was surprised at the step up in training after his controversial move from Liverpool to Manchester City.
The £49million forward has had an impressive start to life at the Etihad Stadium and will look to continue that form against struggling Newcastle on Saturday.
The England star has netted twice for his new club this campaign, his goalscoring just one of an array of talents that have delighted his new fans.
And Sterling puts part of his bright start down to what he sees as a gulf between Liverpool and City’s players on the training ground.
‘The tempo, the passing, the two-touch movement in training; it’s really surprised me. It’s really sharp, really good to be involved in. There are more experienced players here,’ Sterling told the Guardian.
‘Obviously, Liverpool had many great players as well but the players here have been at the highest level for many years and you can definitely see that on the training pitch.’
Sterling’s summer switch caused a huge furore after Liverpool had nurtured him to become one of the world’s most exciting young talents.
But he rejects the common wisdom of his leaving Anfield under a cloud, insisting his relationship with Brendan Rodgers and his team-mates was strong even amid the outrage over his transfer.
He said: ‘When everything was going on and it was in the papers every day, everyone at Liverpool was top-notch. I spoke to the manager every day.
‘I spoke to all the players. Everyone outside the club made it out as being something really bad but there was no problem with the manager or the other players.’
Sterling, in action midweek against Granit Xhaka, rejects claims his relationship with Liverpool ended badly