By Nick Ware

17th Sep, 2021 | 11:10am

Ally McCoist and Tony Cottee react after ex-West Ham striker Sebastien Haller's stunning Champions League debut

Ally McCoist and Tony Cottee have delivered their verdict after ex-West Ham striker Sebastien Haller fired four goals on his Champions League debut on Wednesday.

Haller, 27, was signed from Eintracht Frankfurt in a club-record £45million [BBC] deal in 2019, but after just 14 goals in 54 appearances, he was sold to Ajax in January.

The Ivory Coast international was flexing his talents on the biggest stage this week, however, as his four-goal haul helped the Dutch giants to a 5-1 win over Sporting Lisbon in their opening Champions League game this season.

“There must have been a lot of West Ham fans last night with a wry smile on their face, Haller scoring four for Ajax,” Ally McCoist remarked on talkSPORT [16/09/21].

“Isn’t football crazy sometimes?”

Ex-Irons striker Cottee replied: “I got frustrated with Haller because I could see a player there, but he just didn’t seem to put the effort in Ally, and if you don’t put the effort in you won’t get the backing of the fans or manager and he was moved on.

“West Ham have just got to put that right in the transfer window and sign a centre-forward I think.”

Right place, wrong time

Haller was the centre-forward West Ham were screaming out for when he arrived in east London two years ago.

He was fresh off the back of a sensational 2018/19 campaign with Frankfurt, who he helped to a Europa League semi-final tie against eventual winners Chelsea.

As a physically imposing striker who can also run in behind, Haller looked to have all the attributes to thrive in England.

However, the man who signed him, Manuel Pellegrini, was sacked just months after the French-born forward signed, and David Moyes opted to place faith in Michail Antonio as his sole centre-forward.

While Haller’s talents were obvious, he just didn’t seem suited to Moyes’ style of play, and his work ethic was questioned.

But the main issue with his sale earlier this year was that he was not replaced, either in the winter or summer transfer window, a decision that could come back to haunt the Irons later in the season.

In other West Ham news, Charlie Nicholas claims David Moyes is livid after this recent Irons incident.

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