Spending a lot of cash on a striker, especially on someone new to the Premier League is always a big gamble. West Ham United, however, seem to have invested quite responsibly on Sebastien Haller, who is gradually becoming a key component of Manuel Pellegrini’s side.
The ex-Eintracht Frankfurt striker has already notched up three goals in five matches, helping the Hammers sustain their place at the top end of the table, with 11 points on the board. And in this article, we will discuss three reasons why Haller could become one of Premier League’s top strikers in no time.
Aggression and work-ethic
Almost all the top strikers in the world are known for their aggressive style of play and a willingness to perform for their respective teams. Players like Edinson Cavani, Robert Lewandowski and even Cristiano Ronaldo have shown that character time and time again throughout their decorated careers.
Haller, to that end, belongs to the same category, though not necessarily at the same level as the aforementioned players. The Frenchman has shown incredible work-ethic during his time at Frankfurt. And he has replicated that tenacity in the Premier League as well, notably tracking back numerous times in the recent win against Manchester United.
This impressive work-rate has allowed the West Ham attackers to play with more freedom and space in the final third even though they are the joint lowest scoring side inside the top six at the moment.
Physical and technical qualities
Haller is not just known for his work-rate. He is also an excellent athlete who boasts an imposing 1.90m figure that gives him considerable advantage from aerial duels. It also gives him the upper hand in physical duels as he can easily outmuscle a midfielder when tracking back and receive the ball in deeper areas of the pitch.
Moreover, Haller’s physical and aerial prowess allows him to operate as a target-man. But at the same time, the 25-year-old is also a technically astute striker.
He has already built a formidable partnership with the likes of Felipe Anderson and Andriy Yarmolenko as well as Manuel Lanzini. And with time on his side, the Frenchman can only improve.
An ideal fit for Pellegrini’s system
Pellegrini’s tactical setup is normally built on the idea of technically gifted midfielders formulating scoring opportunities, with a physically capable forward leading the line. This is why the Chilean mastermind was fond of players like Alvaro Negredo.
But in Haller, Pellegrini has found more than a physically astute forward as the ex-SGE man is also a prolific scorer. Most importantly, however, the 25-year-old offers the Chilean a lot of tactical versatility in the final third as he can operate as a modern number nine as well as a target man.
It is ideally suited for Pellegrin’s tactics at West Ham, especially with two inverted wingers in Anderson and Yarmolenko operating alongside the technically gifted Lanzini – making the Hammers one of the most balanced attacking sides in the league.
Haller, in that sense, is the core of that setup and someone, who is destined to become one of the Premier League’s best strikers within the next 12 months.