Potential XI: How West Ham could line up with Haller

This article is part of Football FanCast’s Opinion series, which provides analysis, insight and opinion on any issue within the beautiful game, from Paul Pogba’s haircuts to League Two relegation battles…

West Ham United are set to sign Sebastian Haller from Eintracht Frankfurt this summer.

The Bundesliga club confirmed via a tweet on Tuesday that an agreement between the two clubs has been reached and that the striker is now set to undergo a medical with the Premier League club.

The Irons, of course, are thin in the striking department, with Marko Arnautovic, Andy Carroll and Lucas Perez all leaving the club in this transfer window.

It leaves manager Manuel Pellegrini with just Javier Hernandez and Jordan Hugill as his striking options.

Haller, then, would come in and instantly become the club’s first-choice striker.

Per Transfermarkt, he scored 20 goals in all competitions last season, while laying on 12 assists. He is an out-and-out striker and would become Pellegrini’s go-to No.9.

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He would need support, though, and it remains to be seen how the Chilean will line up with Haller up front.

West Ham could go with a 4-2-3-1 formation that would see the former Manchester City boss prize attacking movement over everything else.

Haller would be the tip of the spear, but he would be ably supported by Felipe Anderson, Manuel Lanzini and fellow summer signing Pablo Fornals.

The trio could interchange and Haller could even drop into the No.10 role at times, utilising the fluidity that could prove so dangerous to opposition defences.

Robert Snodgrass could come into central midfield in an attack-minded role, looking to bomb forward and support those in front of him, while Declan Rice would be tasked with mopping up alongside him.

A full-back pairing of Ryan Fredericks and Arthur Masuaku is attacking, too, and they could add width if Fornals and Anderson drifted inside.

The other option is a 4-3-3 formation that prioritises defensive solidity.

The key here comes from the balance of the midfield three.

While Haller would still play up front and be supported by Anderson and Fornals, Lanzini has dropped back.

Thus, the Hammers do not forego his mazy runs and efficient passing; instead, he plays next to Mark Noble and Rice, who would hold their positions while the Argentine went roaming.

He could still support the front three, but there would be greater emphasis on the players around him mopping up.

A full-back duo of Aaron Cresswell and Pablo Zabaleta is more conservative than Masuaku and Fredericks and, while they can get forward, a low block is employable in this system.

That would then potentially see the Hammers looking to counter-attack quickly and efficiently, with the likes of Anderson, Fornals and Lanzini looking to break the lines and find Haller after winning the ball back. He’s got the natural physicality to perform as an isolated, lone forward in a 4-3-3, measuring in at 6 foot 5.

Whatever happens, Pellegrini’s system is likely to be influenced by the opposition the Irons are facing. But bringing Haller in gives him plenty of options.

Article title: Potential XI: How West Ham could line up with Haller

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