West Ham are now the proud owners of Sebastien Haller, having paid a club record fee of £45 million. The forward has signed from Eintracht Frankfurt on a 5 year deal. Haller managed 14 goals in the Bundesliga and 5 goals in the Europa League last season – he is expected to add much needed goals to West Ham’s squad.
Haller has been signed as a replacement for Marko Arnautovic, who could resist the temptation of going to play in China no longer. Arnautovic’s attitude and injuries held himself and the team back last season, so West Ham fans will be hoping they have found the answer to their problems in Sebastien Haller.
Fellow Frenchman and team mate Issa Diop is clearly happy with Manuel Pellegrini’s latest signing, saying:
‘Sebastien is a target man who can also score and do everything, and he also has good speed, so I would say he is a complete striker’
Haller started his senior career at Auxerre in 2012 having coming through their youth academy. He played for both the first team and the second team during his time there. He was a regular goal scorer for the second team, averaging around a goal every other game. His first team form wasn’t quite as prolific, in the second tier of French football, which lead to him being loaned out to FC Utrecht in late 2014.
Haller made an immediate impact upon arrival in the Netherlands, scoring 11 goals in 17 appearances. Having only played half of the season he won player of the year for the season 2014/15. His form lead to FC Utrecht signing him on a permanent basis in the summer of 2015 – Haller played two full seasons for the club, scoring 30 goals in the league over those two seasons.
Haller’s form in the Eredivisie lead to interest from Eintracht Frankfurt, who he signed for in May 2017. He showed potential in his first season there, scoring a respectable 9 league goals. The following season, he grabbed 14 goals in the league and 5 in the Europa League.
The Frenchmen has been capped at youth levels from under 16 all the way through to under 21. He has played 20 times for the under 21s and scored an impressive 13 goals.
Fantasy Football Potential
Haller is priced at £7.5m for the upcoming season – this may turn out to be good value as he is a forward capable of scoring over 15 goals in the league. As is the case with any player signed from abroad, Haller may need time and games in order to adapt the Premier League.
Haller will have the support of creative players such as Felipe Anderson, Manuel Lanzini, Michail Antonio, Pablo Fornals and Andriy Yarmolenko so I would imagine that he will have plenty of chances to score. It is likely that Haller will be the first choice striker this season, as it is unlikely that West Ham would spend £45m on a squad player! Chicharito offers the only real direct competition for his place in the starting line-up and based on previous seasons Pellegrini is reluctant to play him regularly.
Undoubtedly, Sebastien Haller has the potential to score a lot of Fantasy Football points but I would advise keeping an eye on his early season form to see whether the £7.5m outlay is worth it when proven Premier League strikers can be had for a similar price. If he scores a couple of goals against Manchester City in gameweek 1, get him in immediately!
Written by Will Gosling (@_WG5)