Young striker Rushian Hepburn-Murphy, on loan at Tranmere from Premier League outfit Aston Villa, says he is hungry for more goals after bagging a hat-trick last weekend against MK Dons.
The 21-year-old has had to bide his time a little since arriving at Prenton Park a couple of days before the beginning of the season.
A sending off on his debut against Rochdale set him back three matches, and since then, he has struggled to break into the side, and often when used, it has been in a wide position.
But against MK Dons, with Stefan Payne missing through suspension, Hepburn-Murphy was utilised as a central striker and showed his skills by putting three goals past Dons ‘keeper Lee Nicholls for his first strikes in a Rovers jersey.
It has been a while coming, on his 11th appearance, but only three of those have been from the start.
We’d seen glimpses of his potential before last Saturday. He’s got pace and power which are two very useful traits as a forward.
But last weekend, he also showed that he can finish, as you can see from the three excellently taken goals (watch below) ensuring that he collected his first matchball to take home.
His stats at Under-23 level are fairly impressive, and suggest that this may not be the last we see of Hepburn-Murphy finding the net.
For Aston Villa Under-23, in the Premier League 2, he has scored 20 goals in 30 appearances over the past three seasons.
Admittedly, Under-23 football might not be the most competitive, indeed the reason he has come out on loan, but those figures certainly catch the eye.
Last season, he spent a spell on loan in League Two with Cambridge United, netting twice in 16 appearances.
It’s the adjustment to ‘men’s football’ which is the key to his development, but all the signs point towards him having a good career in the game.
With the likes of Morgan Ferrier returning from injury, it will be interesting to see what kind of role Hepburn-Murphy will be given in the coming weeks, and to see if he can replicate the form he showed at Stadium MK on a regular basis.
In his post-match interview, he said that he was ‘hungry for more goals’. With the confidence gained from a hat-trick, let’s see how he takes that on in the next few matches.