Don Hutchinson has claimed that West Ham forward Sebastien Haller is not the kind of player the club thinks he is, but still believes that the Frenchman can be a success in east London.
The Hammers snapped up the 25-year-old from Eintracht Frankfurt this summer, and are likely to rely on him to lead the line by himself a lot next season.
But Hutchinson has suggested that the Hammers could be in for a surprise.
Speaking on Radio 5 Live, as quoted by Football.London, he said: “I don’t think he is the type of player who West Ham think he’s going to be, he’s not a 20+ goal sort of striker, he’s more like a Fredi Kanoute – very talented, very laid back and very casual, who has got so much ability.”
You can’t imagine that Manuel Pellegrini is the kind of manager who gets caught off guard too easily. The Chilean is a meticulous organiser, and is experienced and thorough enough to resist the urge to spend big on unknown entities. And that makes Hutchinson’s verdict on Haller hard to believe. The Frenchman had a decent enough goalscoring record in Germany last season, hitting 15 goals in all competitions, but the chances are the Pellegrini is fully aware that he won’t come in and win the golden boot straight off the bat. But that’s okay, because if you look at the wealth of talent around him, with players like Felipe Anderson, Andriy Yarmolenko, and new signing Pablo Fornals, there is more than enough firepower in the final third to ease his workload. In that respect, a large part of Haller’s job will be facilitating those players. His average of 1.3 key passes per game and 6.9 aerial duels won per match last term [Whoscored] show that he is the ideal figure to do just that.