Alassane Plea is such a huge Thierry Henry fan that he wears the number 14 shirt in tribute to the Arsenal legend.
And there was a touch of Thierry about the way Borussia Monchengladbach’s own fearsome Frenchman rattled home his second of a stunning hat-trick during Tuesday’s 6-0 Champions League shellacking of Shakhtar Donetsk.
Controlling the ball just outside the penalty area, Plea launched a laser-guided rocket into the home side’s net with pace, power and extraordinary precision.
A week after missing a glorious chance against Real Madrid before Gladbach saw a famous win slip through their fingers, Plea more than made amends with a masterclass in finishing which puts Marco Rose’s side in control of a group containing the 13-time European champions and Antonio Conte’s Inter Milan.
If the £30 million-rated France international wants to take his Henry impression to a whole new level by following in his gilded footsteps at the Emirates, a hat-trick on the biggest stage of all will have done his hopes no harm at all.
BILD reported in the summer that scouts from not just Arsenal but Leicester City, Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur had been flocking to Borussia Park in a time when attending live sport was more a weekly tradition than a hopeful pipe dream.
While there were no scouts in attendance in Ukraine, at least not physically, you can guarantee that the most impressive performance of Plea’s career will not have gone unnoticed.
Especially with Arsenal’s current French forward, a certain Alexandre Lacazette, struggling for any semblance of consistency.