Erling Haaland’s departure from Signal Iduna Park was one of expectancy in western Germany. His incredible goalscoring return in which he scored 62 goals in 67 games for Borussia Dortmund, will be very hard to replace, however, could Sébastien Haller be the answer? Following an excellent spell under Erik ten Hag at Ajax, Haller caught the attention across Europe after scoring 11 goals in the UEFA Champions League last season, despite Ajax being knocked out in the Round of 16. But after Haller’s arrival, how will he fit in under Edin Terzić?
Firstly, it is key to compare Haller’s stats last season at Ajax to Haaland’s at Dortmund. It is almost impossible to replace Haaland’s goalscoring numbers with the Norwegian being one of the hottest prospects in world football. The 21-year-old had some of the best numbers in Europe last season and he scored 0.81 non-penalty goals last season, according to FBref. Additionally, he took over 3.5 shots per 90 as well as 7.58 touches in the opposition penalty area.
Haller exceeds Haaland in non-penalty goals as the Ivory Coast international scored 1.35 per 90, according to FBref, and his pass competition rate of 77.6% is a very good number. The 28-year-old was the top goalscorer in the Eredivisie last season with 21 goals and his record in the Champions League would have been one of the reasons Dortmund decided to buy the former West Ham man.
Furthermore, one of Haller’s biggest strengths is his eye for goal. He is often in the opposition penalty area and is always a nuisance for the opposing defence. Haller’s move to West Ham United in 2019 damaged his reputation after a disappointing spell at the London Stadium, in which he was not used to his strengths and at the time, the Hammers were struggling in the lower echelons of the Premier League table.
David Moyes’ side sold the striker to Ajax for around half the price that they bought him for, a sum of £45m, and he flourished in Amsterdam, attracting the interest of Dortmund. Also, the last time Haller was in the Bundesliga at Eintracht Frankfurt, he was a key influence as Frankfurt made it to the Europa League semi-finals. His displays at the Deutsche Bank Park earned him a move to West Ham, but after a good start, he was unable to remain consistent and only spent just under 18 months in East London before a move to Ajax. Something that will help Haller in adapting to his new side is that he will likely play along with new signing Karim Adeyemi who is one of the most exciting, young players in German football.
In conclusion, Haller should be a suitable fit for the Dortmund squad. Despite not being at the same level as Haaland, Haller is a good replacement and a fee of around £30m is a good deal for both clubs. But do you think Haller will fit in at Dortmund and with his arrival, where do you think they will finish in the Bundesliga next season?