The Frenchman joined the east London side for a club record fee earlier this week, and Hatchard believes the Hammers pulled off quite the coup in snaring him from Eintracht Frankfurt.
“They’ll be getting an excellent centre-forward,” he said, as per Claret & Hugh. “They’ll be getting somebody who scores goals and creates goals, and whose hold-up play is excellent. He scored 15 goals in the Bundesliga last season but also set up nine.
“There has been a lot of talk about Luka Jovic going to Real Madrid and how important that is, but actually I think Haller leaving Frankfurt will do more damage to them than Jovic leaving, because he is such an important vocal point in their attack. I’m gobsmacked, quite frankly, that West Ham have been able to pull this off.”
Well, if the West Ham supporters weren’t excited about Haller signing before, they definitely will be now. It’s always good to get the perspective of someone who watches the Bundesliga regularly to get a sense of what Haller is about, because most of us have only seen clips, looked at statistics and seen him in the odd Europa League game. Obviously you can develop something of an impression from that, but Hatchard’s insight is extremely valuable, and he clearly feels that the Hammers have pulled off a stunning bit of business, here. For him to say that the loss of Haller will impact Frankfurt more than the departure of Jovic to Spanish heavyweights Real Madrid is quite something, and tells you all you need to know about the sort of player Manuel Pellegrini has brought to the London Stadium. The excitement for the 25-year-old’s debut is already palpable, and Hatchard’s comments will kick it into an even higher gear.