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Sébastien Haller Profile
Team: West Ham United
Average PB Score: 58.46
Share Price: £1.38
(All share prices and statistics are correct as of 19/07/2019).
West Ham broke their transfer record fee for the third time in as many years when they secured the signature of Sébastien Haller from Eintracht Frankfurt. The French striker has come into to replace Marko Arnautovic who has recently left the club for Chinese club Shanghai SIPG.
There has been much to admire about West Ham’s transfer activity with a no-fuss approach. Following a late entry and quick exit to the race for Maxi Gómez, attentions quickly turned to Haller who they now insist was their number one choice.
The French striker impressed last year in the German Bundesliga and Europa League but was somewhat overshadowed by their star man Luka Jović, who has now joined Real Madrid.
Saying this, Haller’s style of play is unselfish with 9 league assists (6th highest in Bundesliga) backing up his 15 league goals last season. The 6ft 3in centre forward is more than a handful for centre backs, he’s physical but with the intelligence to bring others into play.
With the 25-year-old starting to reach his prime the £45 million price tag in this current day market could turn out to be a shrewd investment by a West Ham team pushing for the European places.
It will be an interesting watch to see how Sébastien Haller will fair in the 2019/20 Premier League season. Is the centre forward the answer to West Hams strike problem? Not only picking up some goals himself but also getting the best out of some of the Hammers’ under-performing attacking force including Manuel Lanzini and Andriy Yarmolenko?
Sébastien Haller started his youth career at his local club on the outskirts of Paris, a club called F.C.O. Vigneux. He played there for two years between 2003-2005 before moving to Brétigny Foot at the age of 11. From a young age, Haller showed bags of natural ability which combined with his physical size, it wasn’t long before he joined a professional academy.
Auxerre was the chosen team of Haller, joining the side in 2007, aged 13 years old. The French side had a good start at the turn of the millennia winning the French Cup twice and securing European football 5 years in a row.
The centre forward made an immediate impression in the youth teams and was offered his first professional contract with Auxerre when he was away at the Under 17 World Cup. Haller signed an initial three-year deal and broke into Auxerre II making an immediate impression.
He was a regular starter for the Ligue 3 outfit and his 29 goals in 57 appearances didn’t go unnoticed.
In the Summer of 2012, he was promoted to the first-team squad and made his debut in the opening fixture of Auxerre’s Ligue 2 campaign after relegation the previous season.
He played 50 times only notching 6 goals, not really setting the world alight, so he was loaned out to FC Utrecht in the Eredivisie.
Haller grabbed the chance with both hands banging in 11 goals in only 17 games picking up the Di Tommaso trophy (the supporter’s player), even though he’d only been at the club for a few months.
The Dutch league seemed to suit Haller’s style of play and FC Utrecht went on the sign him for 750 thousand euros. The French forward spent two more seasons at the Dutch side, racking up 30 goals in 65 games.
In the Summer of 2017, the German side Frankfurt approached FC Utrecht to sign the target man. The mid-table Bundesliga side spent a reported €7 million in securing his signature on a 4-year deal (which has risen to €11 million with a 10% sell-on fee included in the deal).
Frankfurt finished 8th in Haller’s first season with the striker scoring 9 goals and 4 assists in 31 games in his debut season.
Haller’s second season in Bundesliga proved a lot more successful with a combined 24 goal contributions (15 goals and 9 assists), second only to Bayern Munich’s Robert Lewandowski.
Frankfurt finished 7th in a European qualifying place pipping Werder Bremen by only one point.
Frankfurt got to the semi-finals of the Europa League, heartbreakingly losing to the eventual champions Chelsea 5-4 on penalties.
The success of the German side has led to top goal scorer Luka Jović joining Real Madrid and now Sébastien Haller becoming West Ham United’s record signing at £35 million.
The big question is how Haller will settle into the Premier League and will he hit the ground running as the Hammers push for the European places.
(Sébastien Haller’s Statistics for Eintracht Frankfurt in the 2018/19 season.)
(Sébastien Haller’s Statistics for Eintracht Frankfurt in the 2018/19 season.)
He has represented France at youth levels including U16, U17, U18, U19, U20 and U21. His overall record for the French youth sides is reasonable with 51 appearances and 25 goals.
Joining West Ham can either make or break Haller’s international ambitions. Yes, the French team is not light on attacking talent but as a big fella up front, they’re limited to Giroud who is 32 years old.
Performance Buzz Dividends
Sébastien Haller averaged a Performance Buzz score of 58.46 throughout the 2018/19 season. However, this isn’t a true reflection of some of the performances put in by the centre forward.
The height of the 6ft3 Frenchman and his strong frame does mean he keeps the ball up and has the intelligence to bring others into play. This could be vital for West Ham with players like last seasons star performer Felipe Anderson and their other new signing attacking midfielder Pablo Fornals behind him.
West Ham’s new record signing won on average 6.9 aerial duels a game last season which was the third-highest in all of Europe’s top leagues. However, being the big target man isn’t Haller’s only strength, with quick acceleration and clever runs off the back of defenders making the striker a nightmare for defenders to keep under control.
Unproven but he kinda looks and plays like a slim, Andy Carrol. A Berbatov type player who is big but also has a good touch and decent vision.
As well as bringing others into play and being unselfish in front of goal (9 Bundesliga assists last year), Haller has no hesitation on hitting the back of the net himself.
If you watch highlights of Haller’s goals you can see how comfortable he is with his stronger right foot as well as his weaker left foot.
His height is an obvious advantage too with the ability to score headers as well a confidence to try some things out of the ordinary with some acrobatic attempts towards goal.
It is expected that being West Ham’s record signing and with the departure of Marko Arnautović, Sébastien Haller will lead the line when he settles in. His main role will probably be as a target man with attacking support coming from the likes of Anderson, Fornals, Yarmolenko and Lanzini who are all capable players in their own right.
It will be interesting to see how Haller changes his style of play with his recent success at Frankfurt largely down to an incredible partnership with Luka Jovic in a system that played two up top.
Media Buzz Dividends
The 25-year-old is now in the Premier League and with that comes much more coverage from the British Media (of which Media Buzz scores come from). If the Frenchman hits form during the season and helps push an improving West Ham team up the table the British media will likely be linking the player with his next move to a top European club as they normally do. Read more about how Football Index Media Dividends work in out Beginners Football Index Guide.
Similar stories appeared surrounding Felipe Anderson last year as he hit form with the Hammers. In addition, if a French call up happens the media hype building up to Euro 2020 may just include Haller’s name regularly.
Alternatively, if things don’t quite work out for the big centre forward, the British media may go the other way scrutinising the record-breaking transfer. Although these may not hit any major media scores, he could pick up some dividends on slow news days.