Cologne - He may not have been in Cologne for long, but Anthony Modeste has already won over 1.FC Köln team-mates and fans with his free-scoring start to life in the Domstadt.
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With just 19 Bundesliga goals, and only seven last season, in 55 top-flight appearances for TSG 1899 Hoffenheim, Modeste's arrival in Cologne this summer suggested the powerfully-built French forward’s physique, rather than his goalscoring ability, would be the biggest menace to opponents.
However, while the former FC Girondins de Bordeaux and SC Bastia striker has proven a handful for defenders, he has also shown an unerring eye for goal that has brought six goals already, including one in the 3-0 win at FC Schalke 04 on Matchday 8.
"He's extremely robust, pacy and is almost unplayable in the air," gushed Köln's sporting director Jörg Schmadtke, who helped bring Modeste to the club in response to Anthony Ujah's departure. "He's able to lay off the balls played up to him, so he creates a lot of space for his team-mates."
While Schmadtke has noticed Modeste's not-so-modest contribution from the stands, there is no doubt Peter Stöger's squad have felt keenly the benefits of the striker's talents down on the pitch.
'A funny guy'
Modeste has been involved in at least one goal in all but one of Köln's Bundesliga matches to date, teeing up two strikes in addition to his own goal tally, and he has claimed the tone-setting first goal on four occasions, more than any other Bundesliga player.
"When he gets the ball up there, he doesn't need a lot of chances," explained 1. FC midfielder Kevin Vogt. "When we're in trouble, we can play a long ball up to him. He keeps it so well, and he scores in almost every game. He does us a lot of good," acknowledged Yannick Gerhardt, before revealing what Modeste provides off the pitch.
"Anthony is a funny guy. He always has something to say in the dressing room, and can speak German a lot better than he lets on in public. He always shouts something on the team bus of which you only understand half. He always gets himself noticed, and that's good too."
Renowned as a snappy dresser, Cannes-born Modeste has certainly caught the eye for more than his fashion sense and being Köln's dressing room agent provocateur. With a goal every 148 minutes of his Bundesliga career to date, the 27-year-old is indeed more prolific than Thomas Müller, Klaas-Jan Huntelaar and the Bundesliga's all-time leading foreign scorer, Claudio Pizarro.
"I had expected Anthony to create so many chances for himself, that's his strength," admitted Stöger. "But the fact he always scores, that is a little surprising."