Speaking for the first time since joining Ajax, Sebastien Haller’s comments won’t go down well with West Ham fans.
The Ivorian international joined Ajax for €22.5 million from West Ham, becoming their record signing in the process. Sebastien Haller did have some good times at the London club, including his overhead kicks against Crystal Palace, AFC Bournemouth and Watford.
There are plenty of reasons it did not work our for the former Eintracht Frankfurt player at the London Stadium. There are arguments that the Hammers did not properly scout the player and therefore he did not fit in with the club playstyle. Especially since the change from Manuel Pellegrini to David Moyes.
On the other hand, Haller should take some of the blame himself. It was clear what player Hammers fans wanted and what Moyes wanted his frontman to do. The 26-year-old did not want to seem to try and fit in to the new style. What was needed was a striker willing to sacrifice themself for the cause and put a real shift in.
Michail Antonio showed he was capable of this and earned the starting spot. The Englishman has become a top striker and comfortably the first-choice striker at the club. Haller did have the opportunity to reclaim the position during Antonio’s spell on the sidelines, but despite a couple of goals, he was found wanting.
Now Haller has spoken for the first time since become an Ajax player permanently. Some West Ham fans will probably not appreciate his comments as he suggested that he knew about the move ‘months ago’. It is possible that the player wasn’t putting in all his effort in order to save himself for his transfer.
"“To be honest it’s already a few months, a few months that I knew it (about the move to Ajax). So I always stay in contact with the coach, we spoke because we know we had a good relation before in Utrecht.“We always spoke between each other so of course when I knew that the deal was possible, I was happy. I just had to be patient (and) with the situation now things were possible so they tried to make the move.”Haller on AJax transfer."
The fact that Haller suggests that he ‘just had to be patient’ will leave a sour taste for many West Ham fans, especially those who backed him the most. Haller was the club’s record signing and his interview after leaving has shown a lack of professionalism on his side.
Moyes will now search for a new striker during the remainder of the transfer window. There have already been plenty of names thrown around, but getting someone is a necessity. Antonio is now the club’s only fit senior striker, it would be a risk to rely solely on him for the rest of the season.