In an exclusive interview with Football FanCast ahead of the London Football Awards, Tony Cottee revealed who he would rather play with from his former clubs, choosing between Sebastien Haller, Jamie Vardy and Dominic Calvert-Lewin.
The former England international’s spells at West Ham, Leicester City and Everton came in an era where a striker would often have a partner, rather than being alone at the top of the pitch.
While he showed plenty of appreciation for Vardy, Cottee eventually went with Haller, due to compatibility: “You’ve got to look at who would be best suited for me to play alongside. I probably would pick Haller, because I think I was sort of a similar player to Vardy in terms of playing on the shoulder and being a goal scorer.”
He did also give some consideration to Calvert-Lewin, but in the end was unable to look past the Frenchman: “I think Calvin-Lewin can play in all three positions – left side centre forward, centre forward and right side centre forward – so I think in terms of me developing a partnership, bearing in mind I played in an era where you always played with someone then, I would certainly pick Haller as my preferred choice.”
It is easy to see how a partnership between Cottee and Haller could work, acting as a typical little and large combination that used to be commonplace in the English game.
In Haller’s nine Premier League games this season, he has scored four goals and got an assist, but more important for Cottee would be the link-up play, as he has averaged 7.1 aerial duels won and 1.1 key passes per game, as per WhoScored.
This would have been brilliant service for Cottee, who managed 23 goals in one season for the Hammers, as per Sporting Heroes.
Tony Cottee was speaking as a judge on The London Football Awards, due to take place on 5th March 2020 at Camden’s Roundhouse. Tickets are available from https://