Why Manchester United made a mistake by not signing Sebastien Haller
According to a report from The Metro, Manchester United were interested in signing Sebastien Haller from Eintracht Frankfurt. However, a deal didn’t materialise and West Ham made a surprise £45m swoop for the French striker.
Sebastien Haller, 25, scored 33 goals in 77 appearances in two years at Bundesliga club Eintracht Frankfurt, who he joined from Dutch side FC Utrecht, where he scored 51 times in 98 games.
He is the Hammers’ record signing and has reinforced Manuel Pellegrini’s forward line following the departures of strikers Lucas Perez, Marko Arnautovic and Andy Carroll this summer.
The former France under-21 international started West Ham’s season-opener against champions Manchester City on Saturday. And the end of the 90 minutes, he was on the wrong end of the 5-0 battering on a bright afternoon at the London Stadium.
West Ham were ripped to shreds by Pep Guardiola’s City, who signalled a statement of intent with their flying win at east London. The summer investment might turn out to have improved the Hammers but City are still playing a very different game.
Sebastien Haller was given his full debut by the Hammers and despite making little impact in the opposition box, he did show some nimble footwork, holding the ball up to allow his fellow forwards to make runs in behind the City defenders.
The Frenchman also ran the channels at times but his Premier League debut didn’t end the way he would have liked to.
Watching the clips of Haller’s link-up play and ability to keep hold of the ball in tight areas, he could have been an excellent signing for Manchester United.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer made just three signings this summer in the form of Daniel James, Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Harry Maguire despite finishing sixth last season.
He wanted to sign players with the right profile and demeanour, and appears to be content with the business that United have done in the transfer market.
But it was really baffling to see the Norwegian manager ignore the idea of bringing in a prolific goalscorer after having made up his mind to not stick with Romelu Lukaku.
It became clear during the second half of last campaign that Solskjaer preferred Marcus Rashford over Lukaku as his main man in the attack. In the end, United sold Lukaku to Inter on the deadline day but didn’t spend on bringing in a replacement for the Belgian striker.
In fact, the Red Devils could have done a great job by landing Haller but West Ham capitalised on the tardiness of Solskjaer’s side.
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A physically imposing figure, Haller has been a lethal goal-scorer and a playmaker for the majority of his career. He is a physical player who works extremely hard to get the ball, using his big, strong frame to outmuscle opponents.
That coupled with his work rate, movement and a sudden burst of pace, United could have had an all-round striker in the Frenchman.
Haller did endure a tough welcome to the Premier League but he has all the attributes to make it big at West Ham. And if that happens, United would be ruing their missed opportunity of not landing the 25-year-old.