Last season we saw West Ham United attempt to make the transition from the pragmatic tactics of David Moyes to the free-flowing, attack-minded fare of Manuel Pellegrini.
As evidenced by their 10th place finish in the Premier League, there were mixed results. However, the team would appear to be far better set up for success next season than they were going into the last campaign.
Former England international Danny Mills believes two players in particular will be key to how well the Hammers do next term: “I think he’s [Sebastien Haller] a very, very good signing,” he told Football Insider. “If West Ham can play to his strengths there’s no reason he can’t be a big success. [Felipe Anderson] will definitely play a big part.
The BBC pundit is absolutely bang on in identifying Haller and Anderson as the two most important players for the Irons next time out. Obviously midfield lynchpin Declan Rice will also be key, but for the two men who will be most crucial in implementing Pellegrini’s style of play, you can’t go wrong with the two most expensive signings in the club’s history.
When you consider who West Ham have lost, it points to Haller being absolutely vital to what the east London outfit can do next season. Attackers Marko Arnautovic, Lucas Perez and Andy Carroll have all departed the club this summer, leaving a big hole in the Hammers’ attack.
The Frenchman will be expected to fill it, with Anderson backing him up from midfield. The statistics would indicate that the two men are more than capable of taking this West Ham frontline to the next level.
As per WhoScored.com, they scored a combined 24 league goals for their respective teams last time out, while teeing up 13 for their teammates. Haller got nine of those assists, indicating that the forward will be crucial not only in scoring goals, but in setting them up as well.
The duo would appear to compliment each other well. Haller takes more shots at goal per game and is fouled more, but the Brazilian completes more key passes and dribbles per game, and is better at retaining possession.
Everything would appear to indicate that these are the two players who will come to be the lynchpins of this West Ham attack, and the double act most important in establishing Pellegrini-ball at the London Stadium.