West Ham United defender Issa Diop is excited at the prospect of linking up with Sebastien Haller again, describing him as the “complete striker” and comparing him to Romelu Lukaku.
Haller and Diop were teammates with France at U-21 level, and having faced the former Eintracht Frankfurt forward a number of times in training Diop is well aware of the threat he can bring to the Hammers this season.
Haller the new Lukaku? Five key things to know…
- Lukaku has scored 187 goals in 413 games at club level so far.
- A year younger, Haller has 91 in 230 games.
- Haller won 8.29 aerial duels per 90 minutes in the Bundesliga last season, Lukaku won just 3.93.
- Haller (12.01) also won more duels per 90 minutes than Lukaku (5.24).
- But Issa Diop has compared the two, thanks to their size and strength.
“Sebastien is a very good player, he is very strong and he has very good technique and I hope he is going to score a lot of goals for us!” Diop said.
“I played alongside him for France under-21s and we had a few games together and also many training sessions, so I know how difficult he is to challenge because he is very tall and very powerful.
“He uses his body very well to make things tough for the defenders, so I hope he can do that for us.”
Alongside the likes of Luka Jovic and Ante Rebic, Haller scored 19 goals in all competitions last season as Frankfurt marched to the Europa League semi-finals and finished seventh in the Bundesliga.
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His size and power have drawn comparisons with Belgian striker Romelu Lukaku – who has scored 113 Premier League goals to date – and Diop agrees, insisting Haller is capable of both providing for his teammates and scoring goals himself.
He added: “It’s true that they are similar because Sebastien is a target man who can also score and do everything. He also has good speed, so I would say he is a complete striker.
“As a person, he is also very good. He is humble but also very funny, so he will be good to have in the squad.
“I think he’s going to bring a lot to this club.”
West Ham have lost 4-1 and 1-0 to Man City and Newcastle, respectively, in their previous two pre-season friendlies.
The Hammers have fixtures against Fulham, Hertha Berlin and Athletic Bilbao to put that right before kicking off their Premier League season at home to the reigning champions.