Hat-trick hero Chuba Akpom has been highly praised by Manchester United legend and former manager Michael Carrick, terming him a ‘huge threat’ in front of goal.

The Nigerian-eligible striker scored three goals in Middlesbrough 4-1 win over Wigan Athletic on Boxing Day. The three goals took his tally to 12 goals this season

“I am delighted for Chuba, he’ll get the headlines and rightly so because he’s a huge threat at the moment for us, and is getting his rewards in front of goal,” Middlesbrough manager Michael Carrick commented.

“He’s getting his chances and putting them away and could have had one or two more on another day. But it’s more about his performances and what he brings to the team, his link-up play and taking up clever positions that give other people space.

“He’s in a purple patch at the moment and hopefully it continues for a long time.”

Akpom who used to play for Arsenal has now helped Boro to be just 2 points off the top 6 and a playoff chance.