Stade Rennais FC are Paris Saint-Germain's nearest challengers at the top of Ligue 1 Uber Eats, and Martin Terrier is a large part of the reason why.
Rennes have been a credit to themselves in the 2021/22 campaign, claiming the scalps of PSG and Olympique Lyonnais - among others - on the way to their 31-point haul after 17 games played.
The sixth and final European qualifiers from France last season, that les Rouge et Noir have flourished under Bruno Génésio is perhaps of little surprise, but that Terrier is their eight-goal top scorer with Gaëtan Laborde and Kamaldeen Sulemana for company?
Ligue1.com takes a closer look...
Born in Armentières on the outskirts of Lille on 4 March 1997 to a footballing family, the talented Terrier soon found himself in the youth academy of regional powerhouse LOSC, joining les Dogues at the tender age of six.
After flying through their age group teams he was handed his debut in a 2-1 win over SC Bastia in the 2016/17 season at 19, but was sent out on loan to RC Strasbourg Alsace for the following campaign, which is where he really caught the eye.
Terrier was given his France under-21 debut that season, and Olympique Lyonnais made him theirs midway through his loan period, allowing him to see out that spell with le Racing before he arrived at Groupama Stadium and picked up the same No.7 jersey previously worn by Mahamadou Diarra and Steed Malbranque among others.
Two seasons, 17 goals, two assists and a third-place finish later, and Rennes made Terrier theirs. He hit the ground running with nine goals and eight assists last term, and has picked up where he left off this.
Style of play:
Right-footed, Terrier prefers to line up in the inside left position, from where he can use his quick control and directness to make the opposition goal as big as possible for himself. Once described as a "chirurgien de l'intérieur du pied" - an inside-foot surgeon - by Angers SCO's former Lyon assistant coach Gérald Baticle, Terrier has a similar style of finish whether he is pouncing on chances in the box or thumping home efforts from range.
Rennes may have changed coach - Génésio replacing Julien Stéphan - in March, but Terrier's status as starter was assured from the start under the new regime. Despite having Sulemana, Flavien Tate and Jérémy Doku for competition in his position, Génésio has favoured Terrier, and for good reason.
He started up front in the opening day 1-1 draw with RC Lens, and opened his account two weeks later - thus time from a withdrawn No.10 position - scoring the winner in a 1-0 win over FC Nantes. As well as being a great scorer of goals, Terrier is proving to be a scorer of great goals, as the third goal of his hat-trick in Sunday's 5-0 thrashing of AS Saint-Étienne attests.
Watch: Highlights of Rennes' 5-0 win over Saint-Étienne
What they said:
"It's always a sense of pride to score goals and this is the first hat-trick in my career. I'm very satisfied, especially as it helped the team to three points today. I liked my top-corner goal best, even if there were other good, attacking goals. It was one of my most complete performances."
- Terrier after his star-turn on Sunday.
"Martin Terrier has all the qualities of a high-level player, tactically and in his movements. He's attacking more aggressively too."
- Génésio full of praise for his rising star.
"To celebrate the league title [Lille's, in 2011], he went out for a meal with the first team, but he didn't take part in the second half of the evening!"
- Terrier's father Frédéric, on a son who has had his head screwed on since the start.