Belfast Telegraph

West Ham break transfer record to land Eintracht Frankfurt striker Haller

The 25-year-old’s arrival follows the departures of Andy Carroll, Lucas Perez and Marko Arnautovic.

Sebastien Haller has joined West Ham from Eintracht Frankfurt (Mike Egerton/PA).
Sebastien Haller has joined West Ham from Eintracht Frankfurt (Mike Egerton/PA).

West Ham have finally completed the signing of Sebastien Haller from Eintracht Frankfurt, breaking their transfer record for the third time in a year to land the striker.

The Hammers have been in pursuit of Haller for much of the summer after allowing a trio of forwards to depart the London Stadium.

Andy Carroll was released and Lucas Perez and Marko Arnautovic sold, with the arrival of Haller on a five-year deal for an undisclosed fee now offsetting those departures.

West Ham spent big last summer to land first defender Issa Diop and then playmaker Felipe Anderson, both in record deals.

But the arrival of Haller, 25, has eclipsed both of those signings, with a reported £45million paid to Frankfurt.

However, the former France Under-21 international is not worried by his new price tag and instead feels it shows just how determined West Ham were to get him as he looks to pay them back on the pitch.

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West Ham broke their transfer record to sign Felipe Anderson from Lazio last year (Adam Davy/PA).

“I feel really great,” Haller told whufc.com.

“I think it’s a really good opportunity for me to be here. It means a lot (to be record signing). It proves that the club really wanted me for a long time.

“I felt this desire to sign me and I’m really happy to sign, also. it is an ambitious club, a nice club, a nice city and nice fans too.

It means a lot (to be record signing). It proves that the club really wanted me for a long time Sebastien Haller

“For me I can guarantee that I will give 100 per cent for the club because the club has given me this confidence and I will try to give it back every day in every game.”

Haller played 75 times for Frankfurt across his two seasons at the club, scoring 32 goals.

He enjoyed a similarly fruitful spell at his previous club FC Utrecht, finding the back of the net 51 times in 98 games for the Dutch side.

Discussing the transfer, manager Manuel Pellegrini said: “If you compare the squad of this season with last season, you can see we had three players in that position who are not here anymore – Marko Arnautovic, Andy Carroll and Lucas Perez. We needed to find a good striker.

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Marko Arnautovic left the club earlier this month (Yui Mok/PA)

“We will have different options with Sebastien Haller because he is not only a box player, he plays very well.

“He had a good season with Eintracht. He will be a very good striker for our team.

“We still have (Javier) Hernandez and (Michail) Antonio playing in that position, so we have time, but we have completed our squad as soon as we could and that is better to work.

“He is coming because we love three strikers. At this moment we are not thinking about any other players leaving. I think the rest of the squad will stay here.”

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Haller will be turning out at the London Stadium after signing a five-year deal with West Ham. (Steven Paston/PA)

The signing of Haller, who scored the opening penalty in Eintracht’s Europa League semi-final shoot-out defeat to Chelsea last season, is key for West Ham and director of football Mario Husillos believes it shows their dedication towards improving as a club.

“We are very pleased to welcome Sebastien and his family to West Ham United,” he said.

“It is no secret that we have been in the process of identifying a top-class striker to add to the squad this summer, and much work has gone on behind the scenes to ensure that we were in a position to act once the right opportunity became available.

“Sebastien is a player we have been watching closely for some time – he has always been a key target and someone who myself, Manuel Pellegrini and David Sullivan were very keen to bring to the football club.

“The signing of Sebastien is a big investment and another clear signal of our ambition and desire to bring success to West Ham United and our supporters, and we look forward to seeing the big contribution he will make in the coming seasons.”

Haller joins Spain international midfielder Pablo Fornals and goalkeeping duo Roberto and David Martin in signing for West Ham this summer.

He will not link up with his new team-mates until they return from China, where they are currently competing in the Premier League Asia Trophy.

PA

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