By Will Dodds

23rd Nov, 2020 | 4:35pm

West Ham star much improved against Sheff Utd after shocker v Fulham

When Sebastien Haller joined West Ham in the summer of 2019 for just over £40 million, expectations were that he would make an instant impact.

However, things have not quite worked out for the Ivory Coast international over the last 18 months and he found himself on the bench at the start of this season.

An injury to Michail Antonio gave him the chance to start, but up until Sunday he had failed to take his chance to impress. Against Sheffield United though, he showed his very best.

With the game at 0-0 on the 55-minute mark, the ball fell to Haller on the edge of the Blades box and the 26-year-old smashed it into the top corner. The goal proved to be the winner and capped off a very impressive performance for a player that desperately needed one.

Against Fulham, Haller largely floundered and struggled to get involved, taking just 19 touches over the 90 minutes (via FBRef). He completed seven passes and while he took three shots, he did not have the sort of influence that Davis Moyes would have wanted.

At Bramall Lane though, he was far more impactful and got on the ball 49 times during the match. With the ball at his feet, he completed 24 passes and 25 carries, taking four shots and generating 1.4 expected goals plus assists. With 14 pressures, only Pablo Fornals and Declan Rice completed more, while he even impressed with his passing making one key pass, two final third entries and two passes into the area (via FBRef).

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In almost every facet of the game, Haller was so much better at Bramall Lane and showed Moyes and the Hammers’ support how good he can be on his day.

Whether he can reproduce this against better opposition remains to be seen, but the Ivorian will demand more minutes going forward, even with Antonio returning from injury.

In other West Ham news, here’s how Aaron Cresswell is thriving in attack