West Ham United goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski has spoken up for record signing Sebastien Haller.
The £45million French striker made his first appearance of the restart as a substitute in the 1-0 defeat to Burnley on Wednesday night.
Haller was presented with a golden chance with his first touch but didn’t fully connect with his finish from eight yards out and Nick Pope made a fine save with his feet.
Haller’s difficult first season
The cameo was a microcosm of Haller’s torrid first season with West Ham.
With just seven goals from 30 appearances, many have put his struggles down to West Ham mismanaging the striker.
West Ham have played Haller as a lone forward despite the 26-year-old proving himself a star player as part of a two or three man attack with previous clubs.
Others feel Haller does not impose his powerful frame enough and have questioned his attitude.
Indeed former West Ham hero Bobby Zamora claimed on Sky Sports recently that Haller’s own teammates feel he is too much of a ‘soft touch’ and must toughen up – read full story.
West Ham face another crunch game at Norwich City tomorrow in their bid for Premier League survival.
Lukasz backs ‘proper striker’ to help Hammers and take pressure off Antonio
Haller looks set to make his first start since the season resumption.
And his teammate Fabianski is backing him to make a difference because he is a ‘proper striker’ whereas the hard-working Michail Antonio – who was guilty of a terrible miss against the Clarets – is not (whufc.com).
“All the players who were missing through injuries are slowing coming back – Seb Haller, Arthur Masuaku and Robert Snodgrass is not far away – so hopefully in this very important moment, when you are playing games every few days, it’s good to have everyone fit and ready to go,” Fabianski told whufc.com.
“Having Seb back, he is a proper striker and he can take a bit of pressure off Mikey because he’s been putting a lot of effort into every game, which will help the team for sure.”
Will Moyes go 442 for must win clash?
If Moyes does bring Haller back into the starting line-up he may decide to to go 442 at Carrow Road.
If West Ham win at Norwich they will relegate their opponents. And it will put David Moyes’s side six points clear of the bottom three.
In reality a much superior goal difference means the gap would be more like seven points on Bournemouth and eight on Villa.
Bournemouth and Aston Villa do not play until Sunday against Leicester and Crystal Palace respectively.