English-born Republic of Ireland international Leon Best , nicknamed “Zoro”, marked his first Premier League start of the season with a fantastic hat-trick during the 5-0 demolition of West Ham on Wednesday.
Featuring in Shola Ameobi ‘s absence, the striker was in exceptional form to cap his second appearance of the season with a display that showcased the Magpies’ impressive attacking depth.
Best started his career at Notts County before arriving at then-Premier League outfit Southampton. He was loaned out on several occasions until permanently joining Coventry City in 2007 for a fee of £650,000, which was decided on by a tribunal.
The robust 1.88m-tall forward scored 19 goals in 92 outings in his time at Coventry. He signed with Newcastle in February 2010 on a three-and-a-half year deal and went on to register 13 appearances for his new side, mostly coming on from the bench to little effect.
Having been injured until September since pre-season, his trio of goals against West Ham were his first in a Newcastle shirt.
Best is a well-built target striker, who is gradually improving his technical skills as he becomes more experienced. He is pacy and clinical in front of goal, but his positional sense could be improved as he tends to stray off-side too often.
The 24-year-old has represented the Republic of Ireland national team seven times thus far.