Manchester City star Ilkay Gundogan is in the form of his life in front of goal.
Gundogan unchained: the shackles are off.
For so long the Germany international has been forced to neglect his attacking-minded qualities by slotting into more conservative midfield roles.
At the beginning of the season he was effectively operating in a double-pivot with Rodri, rarely showing any ambition to stride into the penalty area and make an impact on the front foot.
But Pep Guardiola has abandoned the tepid early-season approach and given Gundogan the license to support the attack in a manner that many had forgotten he was capable of.
The result: a goal scoring return of seven goals in eight league outings.
A stylish brace against West Bromwich Albion on Tuesday night provided the latest example of his renewed knack for finding the net, and it's one that drew esteemed praise from his manager in the aftermath of proceedings, per BBC Sport.
"Gundo is a guy who has an incredible sense of goal.
"It is not just knowing the right time to arrive at the box, it is the right second. This is the most difficult thing - not to arrive one metre before, or one metre later, but at exactly the right time, and Gundo has this sense.
"And it's not just that - with his finishing too he has this way to control the ball, slow down and take a second to compose himself and see what happens, and be clinical."
Despite the gushing tone of the Spaniard's assessment, that may not be the biggest compliment Gundogan received on Tuesday.
Aymeric Laporte - valued at £54m by Transfermarkt - has been vocal on social media in recent months, particularly during his absence from the first-team due to injury, and the Frenchman used Twitter to make a tongue-in-cheek comparison with Man City legend Yaya Toure.
Firmly embracing the meme-culture of the modern world, Laporte asked Gundogan to "explain" himself by posting an image that suggests his goal-hungry teammate is morphing into one of the most prolific midfielders in the club's history.
Toure scored 79 goals and provided 50 assists in 316 games for the Citizens, while he also spearheaded a revolution that saw the club win two Premier League titles, one FA Cup and one League Cup between 2011 and 2014.
Though his reputation may have been soured somewhat by his infamous birthday cake debacle and rumoured fall-outs with more than one manager, the Ivory Coast international has been immortalised in the club's history books and will ultimately be remembered as a key figurehead in their transitional period.
With that in mind, there's no doubt that Laporte's comparison, however jovial, attests to how well the former Borussia Dortmund man is playing right now.
It's been a breath of fresh air to witness him optimising his attacking repertoire, bombing forward without restriction and rediscovering his goal scoring touch.
Guardiola will be hoping this is just the beginning of a phenomenal end to the season for Gundogan.News Now - Sport News