West Ham United must bite the bullet and sell £45million flop Sebastien Haller in January.
Things started well for the French striker after his big move from Eintracht Frankfurt, where he had scored 33 goals in the previous two seasons.
Four goals in as many games saw Haller hailed as the man to end West Ham’s long wait for a 20-goal a season striker.
Fast forward three months and 15 league games in – of which he has featured in 14 – Haller still only has those four goals to his name, two of them coming in the same game.
The striker was woeful again in the 2-0 defeat to Wolves on Wednesday night.
In fact he has been so painfully poor that West Ham fans were devastated when Michail Antonio, a winger by trade and previously used as a make-shift right back in the past, could not continue in Haller’s place at Molineux.
Some fans argue manager Manuel Pellegrini is not playing to Haller’s strengths.
And it is true he has always been best as the second forward in a two striker system.
Of course there is also confidence, which is a huge issue for strikers particularly those moving to a new country.
But the simple fact is there are no redeeming features to Haller’s game that make him worth the money West Ham played or vindicate Pellegrini’s decision to play him as the club’s lone striker.
No redeeming features to striker’s game
Haller is not quick, his movement is terrible, his workrate questionable, his aerial ability non-existent and his desire lacking. His hold-up play is decent enough at times. But his reading of the play and reactions are woefully short of the standard required.
Some supporters will want to give Haller more time to prove himself.
But it must be remembered that he was not West Ham’s first choice target in the summer.
The Hammers were hell bent on landing Maxi Gomez. But when he moved to Valencia attentions turned to Haller and a number of others.
West Ham have inexplicably left themselves with just one recognised striker on their books. And no Albian Ajeti does not count.
Hammers must sell in January before Haller’s reputation is in tatters
There is a huge danger that Haller’s reputation will be in tatters if the East Londoners hold on to him in the hope he will come good.
And his value would plummet too.
Sometimes a club must hold their hands up and admit they have made a mistake.
Haller is a player that looks uncomfortable with the £45million pricetag weighing heavy on his shoulders.
West Ham should sell him in January while they can still recoup a sizeable chunk of their record outlay.