Sone Aluko's best still to come for Hull City ... and his happiness is key to red-hot form
HULL City boss Steve Bruce has sent out an ominous message to Championship defences by claiming Sone Aluko's best is still to come.
Aluko has been in breath-taking form since arriving back in English football from Rangers this summer, and a brace to sink former club Birmingham City 3-2 on Saturday typified the 23-year-old's growing stature.
Taking his tally to eight goals from 16 league starts for the season, including five in his last five games, Aluko has been singled out by Bruce as one of the Championship's hottest properties.
But with room for improvement from Aluko in front of goal, the City boss believes his red-hot striker will only get better as a promising campaign gathers speed.
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"Sone's got that quality where you just purr at everything he does," Bruce told the Mail.
"I'm not sure there's anything he can't do.
"He can pass, he's tough, he's quick and if he can just improve on his finishing, which I'm sure he will, there's a player who will play at the highest level.
"It's important now to stick with it because people will obviously be taking notice of him.
"You could look back over the games and think he could have been on 15 goals already quite easily. But I'm really pleased with what he's given for us and what he's doing."
A fruitful partnership with Jay Simpson, who also boasts six goals to his name, has transformed City's attacking fortunes this season.
With 27 goals from the opening 17 league games of Bruce's reign, the Tigers have already reached a tally not met in the Championship until mid-January of 2011-12.
Aluko is the undoubted figurehead of City's attacking line and he will pit his wits against the division's two top goalscorers over the next seven days.
After Charlie Austin, scorer of 17 league goals this term, lines up for Burnley at the KC on Saturday, Glenn Murray of Crystal Palace will look to add to his 15-goal haul when the league-leaders arrive a week today.
Bruce ranks Aluko alongside the cream of Championship ahead of two key home fixtures and believes the forward's happiness is key to his form.
He said: "Have we seen any better this season? I'm not so sure.
"I certainly enjoy watching him and I'm sure supporters are the same.
"He's been worth the chase. We beat off a lot of clubs to get him and it was all worthwhile.
"He's comfortable in his surroundings and that's a big thing. I've seen him interacting with all the players and he's a really popular lad.
"If he can keep his feet on the ground, and I know he will, then the kid has got an outstanding future."