This article is part of Football FanCast’s The Chalkboard series, which provides a tactical insight into teams, players, managers, potential signings and more…
Sebastien Haller has often cut an isolated figure for West Ham United this season, meaning it can be difficult for him to perform at his best.
Tony Cottee bemoaned the lack of support the Frenchman has received, while speaking to Football FanCast: “I think at times he’s been a little bit isolated up front, so he could do with a little bit of help, but I’ve been impressed.”
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Despite this, the striker has 4 goals and an assist from 10 Premier League starts, as per WhoScored, but having spent a club-record fee on the 25-year-old, the Hammers need to ensure they get the most out of him.
Manuel Pellegrini made a tactical switch to a 4-4-2 against Newcastle and it was one that seemed to have the desired effect as the Hammers got two goals to make the scoreline respectable.
There is perhaps a sign that this helped the 6ft 3 attacker, as he ended up taking four shots, his joint-highest tally of the campaign, while there are also previous signs of how he could benefit from this.
His time with Eintracht Frankfurt last season can’t be overlooked, as he established a formidable partnership with Luke Jovic, getting 20 goals and 12 assists in 32 starts and 7 substitute appearances across the Bundesliga and Europa League.
Regarding his time in England, there is also evidence that he could excel alongside a partner, as he has averaged 1.1 key passes and won 6.7 aerial duels per game.
This indicates that he has the attributes to help bring a partner into the game and provide them with plenty of opportunities.
The main question will be whether he can do this effectively enough to make it worth sacrificing someone in another position, with Albian Ajeti currently the most likely option to come in upfront despite the fact he failed to score in 2 starts and 3 substitute appearances for the Hammers.