The hallmark of a good hunter is his inconspicuousness and deadly precision. Blending in to the background, but lethal at just the right moment – those are also some of the attributes boasted by the one-time Bundesliga top goalscorer, Klaas-Jan Huntelaar.
Nicknamed 'The Hunter' for this very predatory instinct, it comes as no surprise that the Dutchman has netted 111 goals for the Royal Blues all said.
His return this season has not been so bountiful, however, with his new partnership with Franco Di Santo suffering from a few teething problems. With just two Bundesliga goals to his name, the 32-year-old is taking time to adjust not only to a new hunting partner, but also to a different system being played under new head coach Andre Breitenreiter.
Huntelaar is no longer the targetman, nor is Di Santo. Instead, Breitenreiter prefers an approach which sees the ball carried forward from deep rather than launched long or from the wing, situations in which a goalpoacher like the Dutch destroyer is at his best.
This might explain why Huntelaar and Di Santo have not had many opportunities to underline their goalscoring qualities, with the ball not yet arriving where they are used to receiving it.
'Klaas-Jan and Franco will find the right track again'
The beneficiary of the change has been Leroy Sane (r.), who has netted four goals and added two assists already this season, most of them coming courtesy of his characteristic bursts from the midfield. Huntelaar and Di Santo merely have to adapt to reap the rewards.
"We're relaxed about it all," said Schalke's sporting director Horst Heldt. "We've still got full faith in them. Klaas-Jan and Franco will find the right track again."
It is a devastating prospect for opposition defences when they do find their form. With such pent-up firepower set to be unleashed on the Bundesliga in its droves, 'The Hunter' is lying in wait to emerge once again and render himself less inconspicuous on the goalscoring charts.