Gift Orban scored his first hat-trick of the season in KAA Gent’s 5-0 thrashing of Polish side Pogon Szczecin in the first leg of their UEFA Europa Conference League third qualifying round on Wednesday.
Gift Orban opened the scoring for Gent in the 13th minute, rewarding the Belgians for their bright start in the game. He made it 2-0 in the 35th minute before two quick goals by Hugo Cuypers in the 31st and 45th minute as the Jupiler League side went into the halftime break with a 4-0 advantage.
The Nigerian striker completed his hat-trick in the 64th minute to take the match ball home. The 21-year-old made way for Brian Agbor in the 89th minute a game where Super Eagles target Jordan Torunarigha featured for 78 minutes.
Orban has had a tough week which has been centered around talks of his imminent transfer away from the Belgian club and as a result of that, manager Hein Vanhaezebrouck has started him from the bench in their last two games, however, that did not affect his performance against the Polish side.
Speaking on the performance of the Nigerian, Hein Vanhaezebrouck said he’s never doubted the quality of the 21-year-old also clearing the air that there is no disagreement between him and the player.
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“Gift has always been calm. We know what has been said, a lot of fuss is made about it. There is no problem, we are best friends,” the trainer was quoted by Sporza. “It is a bit like father and son and sometimes you have to remind the son of his duties. But he is a phenomenon, he has proven that again today.”
The striker has been linked with the likes of Barcelona, Tottenham Hotspur, Lille, and Lens and there is every possibility that he will leave the side this summer.
“I don’t know if he will still be playing with us in September. We have to prepare for what may still happen and, above all, strengthen the core. We are working on it.”