It’s been a long drawn-out process to signing a new striker this summer but it looks like finally, West Ham will sign Sebastien Haller from Eintracht Frankfurt for £45m.
The club were, though, initially prepared to pay roughly the same amount for another forward: Maxi Gomez. Here are five reasons why the Hammers may have actually found an upgrade by recruiting Haller instead:
1) He’s more accurate
According to Wyscout, 49% of Haller’s shots were on target last season, compared to just 34% for Gomez. In terms of the ratio of shots to goals scored, the Frenchman also comes out on top with a conversion rate of 27% to the Uruguayan’s 17%.
2) Haller is more creative
Despite being less mobile, and less accurate with his passing, Haller averaged more assists (0.27) and more key passes (0.37) per 90 minutes than Gomez.
3) He gets involved more
The French striker is also generally more active inside the box, having more touches in the penalty area than the Uruguayan international. Some of that is down to the fact Frankfurt were a more attacking side and weren’t struggling against relegation like Celta were last season, but it also shows Haller is more involved in build-up play. He made, on average, eight more passes per match than Gomez during the campaign.
3) Haller is better in the air
Haller is only an inch taller than Gomez, but he throws his weight around more often in aerial duels. He wins 49% of his battles in the air, compared to just 40% for the Uruguayan. In terms of headed goals, though, Gomez actually scored more (four to Haller’s three).
4) He has a better work rate
Wyscout measure what it classes as “Defensive actions,” which means tackles, interceptions, shots blocked, one-on-one battles and fouls. On this metric, Haller comes out on top averaging 3.74 actions per match compared to Gomez’s 2.06.
It means the French forward had a higher work rate, which is something that manager Manuel Pellegrini will certainly be looking for in a player who is tasked with playing the lone striker role.
5) Haller is better on the ball
Despite being 6ft 3, Haller will dribble with the ball from time to time. He attempts 2.62 dribbles per match, which is more than Gomez (1.71). Although he does lose the ball slightly more than the Uruguayan he will, on the whole, look to make things happen.
Haller could, therefore, prove an excellent signing for the Hammers if, that is, he can translate this level of performance from the Bundesliga into the Premier League.