His four goals in a stunning opening-day victory over Inverness Caley Thistle were exactly why Robbie Neilson fought so hard to bring Lawrence Shankland to Dundee United.
With two goals in each half, the 23-year-old was the star man as the Tangerines got this season’s promotion bid off to a perfect start (see video below).
The manager, for one, was not surprised by his performance.
“We knew with Lawrence – that’s the reason we were chasing him,” said Neilson.
“We were delighted to get him because if you put the ball in that area, the majority of the time he will put it in the back of the net for you.”
Neilson, though, was quick to point out the 4-1 success was by no means a one-man show from his summer signing.
He said: “I was delighted with the whole team. I thought we were exceptional.
“We competed well against Inverness, their balls into (Jordan) White, knockdowns, that kind of stuff. We dealt with the dirty work and then showed some quality as well. We’ve still got areas where we can improve but, all in all, it was a good day.”
And Neilson also singled out Shankland’s strike partner Louis Appere for praise.
Making his first league start, the 20-year-old caught the manager’s eye.
He said: “I thought Louis was exceptional. He did well on loan last season and he’s come in for pre-season fit as a fiddle, did well in training and in the games, looked after himself and he deserved the chance to go and play.
“I think he has definitely staked a claim for this week at Partick Thistle.”
A string of scouts from the likes of Southampton and Sunderland were in the Tannadice stand on Saturday and there was one weekend report suggesting Crystal Palace are set to launch a £400,000 bid for teenager Scott Banks.
While Neilson wasn’t aware of any offer, he welcomes the attention his kids are getting.
“I would be surprised if there wasn’t an interest in quite a few of our boys, they’ve done very well. Even some of the ones in their mid-20s have done well.
“That’s what you want at your club, bigger teams to be interested and then we have a decision what we do with them.”