6 of the best Early-season hat-trick heroes
Nick Bidwell selects some of this term’s top trebles
1.Thorgan Hazard Borussia Monchenglad Bach
The younger brother of Chelsea playmaker Eden Hazard began the new campaign with three goals in the first round of the German Cup against lower-league BSC Hastedt and has gone on to catch the eye with his left-flank razzle dazzle.
Few German-based players have made as much progress over the past 12 months as the 25-year-old, who has ironed out the wrinkles in his defensive game, gets into the opposition box far more often and is finishing with greater accuracy. He attributes his improved strike rate to extra shooting practice after training and is not the sort of player who flits in and out of a game.
Previously with Lens, Chelsea and Zulte-Waregem, the Belgian is now is in his fifth season with Gladbach and last term was among the top performers in the Bundesliga for shots at goal and sprints.
2.Junior Moraes shakhtar donetsk
The Brazilian scored 10 goals in his first 11 league games for Shakhtar – including three in a derby victory over Olimpik Donetsk – following his controversial Bosman free transfer in the summer from Ukraine arch-rivals Dynamo Kiev.
Many of his new supporters have had to reassess their feelings about the 31-year-old striker who back in 2016, while leading the line for Dynamo, was sent off for elbowing and punching a couple of Shakhtar defenders.
Since starting out with Santos in his homeland, his globetrotting lifestyle has earned him a living in Bulgaria, Romania, China and Ukraine. While he has not represented his native land at any level, he has had a number of opportunities to fly a European flag of convenience.
Federation officials in Bulgaria and Romania have previously discussed the subject of naturalisation with him and Ukraine coach Andriy Shevchenko is also thinking along similar lines.