Eintracht Frankfurt’s Sebastien Haller put significant wind beneath the Eagles’ wings with an impressive 15 goals and nine assists in his second Bundesliga season.
bundesliga.com takes a closer look at the colossal French forward, who formed one part of Frankfurt's terrifying front three in 2018/19...
Club: Eintracht Frankfurt
Country: France (20 U21 caps/13 goals)
Following on from his nine-goal haul in his debut Bundesliga campaign under now Bayern Munich head coach Niko Kovac, Haller helped form one of the Bundesliga’s deadliest attacks last season, alongside Ante Rebic and Luka Jovic – who has now joined Real Madrid. Of the 41 goals the trio scored in the league, Haller’s 15 made up well over a third. The Frenchman had nine goals and six assists in the opening 15 matches of the season, and added six more strikes in the second half of the season to complete a successful campaign - despite missing the entire month of April through injury. He also played a major part in Frankfurt’s run to the UEFA Europa League semi-finals, scoring five goals along the way. Standing at 6”2’, the former Utrecht and Auxerre striker was the target man in Adi Hütter’s attack.
The long ball method that was commonly used by the Eagles throughout the season played perfectly to Haller’s strengths – literally. The 25-year-old won a staggering 459 challenges, 205 of which were in the air – both were league-best totals – and the next best challenger in the air was Yussuf Poulsen, 37 behind on 168. But unlike most big men who enjoy getting into a tussle with a centre-back, Haller kept it clean, conceding only 1.4 free-kicks per game during 2018/19. He was also perfect from the spot when called upon, converting three penalties from three.
Watch: Haller's Bundesliga Mixtape!
Plays a bit like: Olivier Giroud
With an imposing physical stature allied to a rare ability to make and take goals, both of simple nature and the audacious, Haller’s style of play is reminiscent of another French striker: Oliver Giroud. Just inches shorter than the Chelsea frontman, Haller – like Giroud – can hold the ball up and has the wherewithal to set up teammates if their path to goal is clearer than his. Haller can also finish with both feet should it be his turn to strike, though, and even has a penchant for spectacular goals, as his 2017/18 Goal of the Year winner attests…
Watch: Haller's brace vs. Fortuna!
Did you know?
Haller was a France U21 teammate of fellow Bayern stars Benjamin Pavard and Corentin Tolisso. All three started the last time Haller pulled on the dark blue shirt of his nation – as did Paris Saint-Germain pair Adrien Rabiot and Presnel Kimpembe – in a 1-0 win over Northern Ireland at the UEFA European U21 Championship in 2015. All except Haller went on to win full international recognition, with Rabiot the only one who didn’t make it to the 2018 FIFA World Cup. Without a senior cap, Haller remains eligible for Cote d’Ivoire, for whom he qualifies through his mother…
What they’re saying
“Maybe the loss of Seb weakened us. He simply revives our game.” – Frankfurt sporting director Bruno Hübner while Haller was injured
"I always want to score goals, but I'm a team player first and foremost." – Haller on his own game
“A bulldozer couldn’t knock him over!” – Kovac