Much has been made of Tottenham’s signing of Ndombele, Ayoze Perez to Leicester City, Rodri to Man City, United’s signings of James and Wan-Bissaka.
But there has been one signing, that despite the fee appears to have slipped under the radar. Sebastian Haller’s transfer to West Ham United for £45m.
Now I am an avid viewer when it comes to European football, and last season there were two clubs that I was always excited to watch regardless of their opposition. Eintracht Frankfurt and LOSC Lille.
Both teams boasted completely different styles of play, both were surprise packages in their respective leagues and both provided scintillating displays of attacking football. But for the purpose of this piece I’ll stick with Frankfurt today.
At Frankfurt, Sebastian Haller formed a very effective attacking trident with Luka Jovic and Ante Rebic. It’s been well publicised that Jovic has now moved to Real Madrid, Haller is now at West Ham, and more worryingly for Frankfurt it appears as is Rebic could be on his way to either Inter Milan or Atletico Madrid.
But without getting distracted, I am here to highlight what an absolute gem West Ham have signed. Attacking-wise he has everything the club was missing last season. A physical presence, an eye for goal, an eye for a key pass and a massive aerial presence.
Last season, Haller was part of a front three that scored 41 goals between them in the Bundesliga. With the Frenchman firing in 15 of them, only Jovic (17) scored more. On comparison, wantaway striker Arnautovic was West Ham’s top scorer last season with 10 in the league.
Haller also shown his creativity last season laying on 9 goals for his teammates in the league, only the winger Kostic (10) provided more. In comparison, at West Ham both Noble and Snodgrass were the top contributors to that stat with 5 a piece.
But better yet, the next stat really showcases what Haller can bring to the table. Per game, Haller won 6.9 aerials duals on average. That is each and every match he was a presence in the air. In comparison, West Ham’s main attacking aerial presence was Antonio who averaged a much more inferior 2.4.
Last season in the Premier League, only Cardiff’s Callum Paterson (defender turned striker) rivals the numbers of that aerial presence. But it helped the stats in his favour playing for a very long ball orientated side.
It has to be said that stats never give the full story. But as I watched on last season, safe to say I was hoping that Tottenham (yes, I support Tottenham, sorry) may just be having a look at him because he looks the real deal, even though he is a late bloomer.
Haller has all the attributes needed to succeed in the Premier League and I look forward to seeing what he brings this season, and hopefully shows glimpses of the quality he clearly has. Just not too much against Spurs.