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Manchester United: Ten Hag could target Ajax’s Sebastien Haller

Manchester United are reportedly interested in bringing Ajax striker Sebastien Haller to Old Trafford this summer.

What’s the word?

That is according to reports by the Daily Mail, who claimed that the former West Ham striker could be given another crack at the Premier League under his current Ajax boss Erik Ten Hag.

A report from The Sun stated that the Ivorian would be available for around £35m if Ten Hag opts to bring Haller to Old Trafford with him.

Berbatov 2.0

Haller was dubbed a flop after his spell at West Ham was not as prosperous as he would have liked, although he still scored seven goals in his first season in a team which did not play to his strengths.

His move to Ajax in 2021 shocked some, with many perhaps believing that he did not possess the calibre to play for such a prestigious club.

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Ten Hag knew exactly what he was doing, though. He was bringing in an accomplished poacher who had bagged 51 goals and set up another 16 for fellow Eredivise club Utrecht across 98 appearances in three seasons.

Ten Hag placed him up top and has not looked back since, with the 27-year-old putting in some outstanding performances for Ajax over the past season-and-a-half.

Haller – who has been dubbed a “hero” by journalist Yaw Ampofo Jr on Twitter – has netted 152 goals in his career, with 11 of those coming in eight Champions League appearances this season. That tally sees him rank as the third-highest scorer in the competition for 2021/22 just behind Robert Lewandowski and Karim Benzema.

His 20 goals and seven assists in 27 games this season would suggest that he could be United’s new Dimitar Berbatov-type figure.

MUFC fans! Do you want Haller?

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Playing in an Ajax side which has averaged 67.3% possession this season, the Ivorian has proven that he is comfortable with the ball, averaging around seven touches per game in the opponents penalty area and completing a successful dribble percentage of 60%. The latter percentage places him in and around the elite category compared to positionally similar players in the top 5 leagues, according to FBRef.

His ball control is not quite as prestigious as what Berbatov offered in his heyday, but not many have matched the Bulgarian’s touch.

What will delight fans, and what represents a difference between Berbatov and Haller, is the Ivorian’s work rate in the attacking third.

Operating in a high-pressing Ajax side, it was always a given that the latter would be expected to press from the front, and he has established himself as one of the best in the world at doing just that. Haller averages around 17 pressures per 90, with ten of these pressures coming in the attacking third.

The former West Ham flop has rejuvinated his career at Ajax and proven himself to be a creative and well-rounded goal machine.

It is no wonder that Ten Hag is reportedly interested in signing what could be United’s new Berbatov-esque presence in attack.

In other news – Fewer touches than De Gea: Man Utd flop with just 12 passes must never play again

Article title: Manchester United: Ten Hag could target Ajax’s Sebastien Haller

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