Haller haul in Football

Recently, Sebastien Haller marked his 50th outing for Ajax with a hat-trick. Ever since his debut for the defending Eredivisie Champions, he has been balling for them. He is one of the most informed footballers in world football today. He is currently having a dream season, so to say, which we will discuss later. However, it always hasn’t been all rosy for the 27-year-old Ivorian footballer. Today we trace back the journey of Haller; the footballer so far.

Image source: imago/PanoramiC

How it started for Haller

Sébastien Romain Teddy Haller was born in France on June 22, 1994, to a French father and an Ivorian mother. He developed a penchant for football quite early and joined the academy of FCO Vigneux when he was just 9. However, his real journey started when he joined Auxerre in 2011. It didn’t go well for Haller in his time at Auxerre. Soon, he was on his way out to an Eredivisie Club Utrecht on loan. After impressing the people of Utrecht during that run, they roped him in permanently. He received the club’s best player award in 2015. He was turning heads and catching people’s eyes. It was inevitable that he garnered interest from other clubs in Europe.

Image source: Bundesliga

Next Step

Eintracht Frankfurt signed Haller in 2017 on a four-year deal for a reported fee of €7 million. His stint at the German Club was pleasant as he had 33 goals and 16 assists in just 77 appearances for Frankfurt in all competitions. In 2018/19, only Lewandowski (29) beat his goals and assists tally of 24 in Bundesliga. Then West Ham came calling for him. The London club signed him in 2019 for the then club-record transfer of €49.8 million. He did show glimpses of his caliber and brilliance with some top performances and spectacular goals, but not enough to prolong his stay. He only had 10 goals in his 48 outings for West Ham and was soon shown the exit.

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Ajax to the Rescue

After a disappointing spell in England, Haller found his home in the Netherlands again. In 2021, Ajax signed the Ivorian footballer for a club-record fee of €22.5 million. When many had lost faith in him, the Dutch Club showed plenty of faith and confidence in him. And he has repaid that faith- and how! Since his debut, Haller has played 50 matches for Ajax, in which he has 41 goals and 14 assists. He helped the club win the Eredivisie and KNVB Cup in his first six months. He has been an extremely crucial component of Ajax quickly under Ten Hag. Around a year ago, Ajax left him out of their Europa League squad accidentally. The form and pedigree that he has shown since then, he has become indispensable for them. Surely, we won’t see the Dutch Champions repeating that mistake.

Image source: DPA

Dream Season

Haller is having the season most footballers dream of having at the top level. In this season alone, he has had 28 goals and 8 assists for Ajax in just 27 matches in all competitions. Those are some scary numbers. Haller made his Champions League debut this season, and he is relishing the challenge of playing the most revered and challenging competition in Europe. He became the quickest player to reach 10 goals in Champions League History. He is one of the only four players in the world who have scored in their first five Champions League appearances. With 10 goals and 2 assists in 6 games (5 starts), he averages 1.7 goals per game while taking 3.2 shots per game in the UCL. That’s a goal every 49 minutes. Wow. Haller having a dream season would truly be an understatement.

Haller’s rise to the top is one such heartwarming story that makes football what it exactly is. The world of sport needs heroes from all walks of life, from unexpected scenarios and circumstances. Haller is one of those heroes. Just 27, the sky is the limit for the Ivorian footballer. Let’s see how it unfolds for him from here on.