West Ham need an exciting frontman banging in goals at will, and for the current squad this means their marquee signing needs to show some versatility.
We all know that a striker partner brings out the best in Sebastien Haller. He had much of his career success alongside another forward and has played his best for West Ham with Michail Antonio flanking him up top.
Moving forward, however, it’s on Haller and David Moyes to figure out a way to play in a one striker system that still makes him a deadly goalscoring threat. Moving away from two up top opens up far better-balanced options for the Hammers and should up the difficulty level for their opponents.
The key to unlocking this success falls to the number 10 position. Whoever can find a way to link up with Haller out of Pablo Fornals, Manuel Lanzini, and even Jack Wilshere should be heralded as a messiah because using a 4-2-3-1 formation will propel the team forward with balance and goalscoring threat.
The attacking central midfielder is so important in this role because they need to get forward enough to utilize Haller’s layoff skills, but also need to link up with Declan Rice and Tomas Soucek in the midfield. Soucek and Rice are able to be physical towering presences in the opposition’s box, yes, but in open play there needs to be a string-puller to kickstart the offence.
As you can see, Haller’s versatility as a solo striker is really a lot more about his teammates than himself. With everyone fit, Felipe Anderson has to be looked at as the top left-sided attacker, while Pablo Fornals dukes it out with Lanzini for that #10 role.
Alternatively, a 4-3-3 formation with Jarrod Bowen, Michail Antonio, and Felipe Anderson as flanking forwards could be an even better option for Haller. We know Antonio is a menace across the front line with power and pace, we’ve seen Bowen nab his debut goal on a marauding run across the face of goal, and Anderson has the skills and star power to do it alone.
There isn’t a lack of options here and any option that can be used to support Haller as a solo striker should be examined. Confidence is also key in this instance. Getting him well supported and fed regular service from out wide can surely remove any loss that dropping a second striker would bring about.