1. FC Köln striker Anthony Modeste has made a dream start to the 2016/17 Bundesliga season, outstripping some of the biggest names in football and heading the European goal charts at the start of November.
A brilliant second-half hat-trick against Hamburger SV on Matchday 9 moved the 28-year-old onto 11 goals from nine Bundesliga outings for the Billy Goats, the best total for any player in the big leagues around Europe.
Watch: All 11 of Modeste's Bundesliga goals in 2016/17 so far:
The Frenchman’s league tally leaves him top of the pile in the European Golden Shoe race, with Paris Saint-Germain FC's Edinson Cavani and Edin Dzeko of AS Roma currently one strike back. Chelsea's Diego Costa has eight English Premier League goals, but there are some even more illustrious names are also trailing in Modeste's wake, with FC Barcelona's Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez both on seven goals in La Liga to date.
Modeste's outstanding form has put him some distance ahead of his competitors closer to home as well. FC Bayern München's Robert Lewandowski and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang of Borussia Dortmund were expected to be the main contenders for the Torjägerkanone at the end of the season, and while seven goals apiece is not a bad return, there is some clear blue water between the in-form Köln hit man and his rivals.
Watch: Modeste reflects on his hat-trick heroics against HSV:
He looks odds-on to go past his tally of 15 from last season very quickly, a fine effort by a player finally finding his feet after an early career that took in spells with several clubs in his native France and elsewhere.
Starting out at OGC Nice, a successful loan to Angers SCO saw FC Girondins de Bordeaux make a move. Three years there did not yield the goals expected of him, and half a season on loan to Blackburn Rovers FC in England ended with no goals from only a handful of appearances.
Another loan, this time to SC Bastia, brought Modeste back into the spotlight with 15 Ligue 1 goals, a return that prompted TSG 1899 Hoffenheim to bring him to the Bundesliga. His 19 goals over two seasons with Hoffenheim showed his youthful promise was coming to fruition, and the move to the RheinEnergie Stadion has since seen him mature into one of the most dangerous strikers around.
Modeste has the mental toughness to succeed as well, shaking off the shock of missing a penalty against Hamburg to grab his first hat-trick in the Bundesliga.
He modestly thanked his team-mates following his star turn on Matchday 9, and all signs are now pointing to Modeste challenging for the Torjägerkanone, and, perhaps, Köln finishing in the European Cup/UEFA Champions League places for the first time since the 1978/79 season.