Darren Bent has heaped praise on West Ham United forward Sebastien Haller after his start to life at the London Stadium.
The Sky Sports pundit was particularly impressed with the Frenchman’s movement against Norwich City on Saturday as he scored his third goal of the season in a 2-0 win.
Speaking to Football Insider, the retired striker claimed Haller was the first out-and-out number nine the Hammers have had since the likes of Carlton Cole, Dean Ashton, Marlon Harewood, and Bobby Zamora.
“He’s really impressed me, what I really loved about him (v Norwich) was his movement, he’s got himself in front of the defender and people don’t understand how good those tap ins are,” he said.
“He got himself in that situation and it looks like they’ve finally got someone who wants to be there, is enjoying it there and the fans taking to him.”
“The last time I can remember them having a proper number nine is way, way back – the likes of Bobby Zamora, Carlton Cole, Marlon Harewood, Dean Ashton.”
The former Eintracht Frankfurt forward opened his West Ham account when scoring a brace at Vicarage Road in a 3-1 win over Watford.
Bent is certainly right to heap praise on Haller, who has been in great form since making the switch to East London from the Bundesliga. Hammers’ fans will have been hoping that the 25-year-old could replicate his goal-scoring from his time at Frankfurt where he scored 15 goals and added nine assists. Haller has started well for West Ham, scoring three in four appearances, and is on his way to replicating that form. The French forward has used his physical presence to great effect for the Hammers, winning an average of 5.7 aerial battles per game [Source: WhoScored]. On top of that, he has averaged three shots on goal per game and has become West Ham’s biggest threat in games. The club-record signing is already on his way towards justifying the club-record fee that was paid for him, and Manuel Pellegrini will be delighted with the way he has started life at the London Stadium.