History: On this day in 1999, Kanu Scored one of the most memorable hat-tricks in football history #Legend
The Olympic Gold medal winner joined the Gunners in the wake of Nicolas Anelka’s departure to Real Madrid and, at first, failed to woo the crowd with his languid demeanour around the pitch. Soon, though, Kanu’s attributes became apparent and the cheeky smile he carried with him throughout won over the Highbury faithful.
Kanu could operate both as a target man or as a deep-sitting conductor of play. He had the ability to bamboozle defenders in the blink of an eye, using superb close control to wriggle out of tight spots. He was often the scorer of great goals, too.
His delicious flick-of-the heel goal in a 6-1 rout against Middlesbrough springs straight to mind, as does the time in a North London derby when he scooped the ball over a despairing Luke Young before emphatically burying the ball beyond Ian Walker.
Having already notched twice to haul Arsenal level with Chelsea, the Nigerian sealed victory with one of the finest goals in the history of the Premier League. He won possession by the left by-line and found himself faced with, first, an out of position goalkeeper, then two defenders and a narrowing angle. Ed de Goey was slithered past with a subtle shimmy before Kanu unleashed a curling effort which arrowed into the far top corner.
The points were Arsenal’s and a place in the Club’s history was Kanu’s.
Kanu at Arsenal:
198 Appearances, 44 Goals
2 FA Cups
1 Community Shield
Ranked 13 out of 50 Arsenal Greatest Players. #Legend