Exclusive: McAvennie claims Ajax should have done more homework on Haller
We’re delighted to welcome former West Ham United striker Frank McAvennie as our exclusive columnist. Each week he’ll be giving his views on the biggest talking points at the London Stadium…
Frank McAvennie claims Ajax should have done more homework on Sebastien Haller before they signed the striker from West Ham last week.
Ajax confirmed they paid €22.5million (£20.2million) for the 26-year-old striker, who made his debut at the weekend as the Eredivisie giants drew 2-2 with PSV.
Haller came off the bench at half-time to spearhead Ajax’s 4-2-3-1 formation and managed to assist Antony’s 65th-minute equaliser at the Johan Cruyff Arena.
McAvennie doesn’t believe that Haller suits playing as a lone-striker after seeing him in action so often at West Ham.
“Haller was an enigma. He’s gone now but it’ll get better for him in the Eredivisie,” McAvennie told West Ham Zone.
“He’ll get more time and space on the ball in a decent team but they ought to have done more homework on him because he can’t play on his own up front. I don’t think Ajax play that way.
“He didn’t do it for me at West Ham. I’m hoping he’ll be disappointed himself because as a player you think ‘I could have done that and I should have done that’.
“He never gave himself to the fans at all. He never smiled.”
Haller struggled at the London Stadium to the point where he was below Michail Antonio in the pecking order, who was not really used as a striker until David Moyes’ return to the Irons.
Ex-Hammers striker McAvennie has made it very clear in his interviews with West Ham Zone that he’s no fan of the Ivory Coast international, who scored just 10 goals in 48 Premier League appearances.
For the amount of money West Ham paid for Haller when they signed him in a club-record £45million [BBC Sport] deal from Frankfurt in 2019, you would have expected a far better goal return from the centre-forward, who was so prolific in Germany.
However, while playing for Frankfurt in 2018/19 when he netted 20 goals and assists 12 in 41 outings, he played in a front-two alongside Luka Jovic.
McAvennie’s claim about Haller suiting a front-two definitely carries weight but that simply wasn’t happening for him at the London Stadium with Moyes preferring a 4-5-1 or a 3-4-3.
In other West Ham news, Angelo Ogbonna showed off his defensive might in the 1-0 win against Stockport on Monday.