David Moyes must wield the axe on Sebastien Haller and strive to sign a replacement in January after the West Ham striker’s struggles against Manchester United on Saturday.
The Frenchman once again led the line at the London Stadium after Michail Antonio developed a second hamstring injury of the season, opening the door for Haller to well and truly establish himself.
Moyes had been reluctant to trust Haller before losing Antonio during October’s draw with Manchester City, with the Ivory Coast international playing just 29 minutes over the opening five games of the league campaign.
The moment Moyes felt he had Antonio at his services again, he started the English centre-forward but he was made to regret the decision when forced to introduce Haller at half-time in Monday night’s 2-1 win over Aston Villa.
Moyes would have hoped to see Haller bounce back from his benching when he started him against Manchester United with West Ham enjoying by far the better start of the two sides, yet instead the 26-year-old was made to pay for a costly slip after rounding Dean Henderson.
Haller had the chance to double West Ham’s advantage after Tomas Soucek headed home to open the scoring, but failed to keep his balance and the chance to strike his third Premier League goal of the season went begging.
Moyes tried to hide his disappointment after the match, claiming Haller was offside before the slip. Though his frustration at West Ham’s overall slack shooting proved he can never trust the £45million club-record signing to deliver when it counts.
“I think the big thing, I think it was offside. Because the linesman didn’t flag you put it down as a chance and in my book, it was an offside decision so it never became a chance,” said Moyes, via quotes by football.london. “I haven’t looked back at it but the word I got was that it was offside anyway.
“I thought the biggest thing tonight was that we had a great chance to go two or three up, maybe even more. We played really well but we didn’t kill it off when we had the chance to do so, show a clinical edge to our finishing or our final pass which was needed. I think that was what cost us tonight.”
Haller had the perfect chance to prove himself to Moyes against Manchester United, yet now has an uphill fight to potentially save his London Stadium future amid claims the West Ham boss “isn’t convinced” by him and that the club may listen to offers this winter.
Moyes should not need to call on the £27m-rated striker to improve having done so already, claiming last month via quotes by the Evening Standard: “He’s got a very good capacity to run, he’s an incredibly fit athlete, a powerful man, 6tft 4in. So, he’s got an awful lot of good attributes, and let me tell you he can run.
“He’s got a very good reputation. He’s the one who has to maintain that, and that’s by showing what he can do.”
West Ham are continually being linked with potential attacking reinforcements ahead of the mid-season market, with Real Madrid duo Luka Jovic and Mariano Diaz plus Olympique Lyonnais’ Moussa Dembele and alleged top-target AFC Bournemouth’s Joshua King among the many to have been touted.
And Haller, after 27 games under Moyes, has been given plenty of opportunities to prove he can be trusted but Saturday showed he cannot.