The Englishman said City signing Bernardo from Monaco in 2017 spurred him on to take his own game to a new level.
Asked when he began to fulfil his potential, he told the Mirror's John Cross:
"I think it was when City started to buy wingers! I went back to north-west London, I went to see my friend and he said, 'They've just bought Bernardo Silva.' He was worried for me.