Sébastien Haller ~ FC Utrecht to Eintracht Frankfurt ~ £6.4m
Cult hero Alexander Meier is a tough act to follow in Frankfurt. It’s not just his knack for scoring crucial goals for Eintracht over the course of a career that included 136 goals for the club, but his leadership and desire to work hard from the front was always crucial, and even more so under Niko Kovac. But Meier is now thirty-four, and a wonderful career in the black and red of Frankfurt will soon come to an end. To fill big shoes, you need a player who is used to wearing them; enter Sébastien Haller.
Fourty-one goals in eighty-two appearances over the last three years for Utrecht in the Eredivisie is a very good return for a player who once couldn’t build a name for himself at Ligue 2 side AJ Auxerre. Built strong, instinctual in the box, incredibly effective in the air, and used to, like Meier, defending from the front, Haller is just the type of center forward to fill Meier’s boots.
There will undoubtedly be a bedding period for the player however, as leaping from the Eredivisie to the Bundesliga is a jump in class and quality. But for a player who was in the “black box” of Southampton in the Premier League—a club known for having an eye on Europe’s younger players—expectations surrounding Haller are nothing but positive.