Dean Ashton believes that West Ham can get the best from their striker Sebastien Haller if they use players with pace around him.
The Hammers splashed out £45million (BBC) in the summer to bring the centre-forward to the Premier League from Germany outfit Eintracht Frankfurt.
He’s scored seven goals in 28 games across all competitions to make it a moderate start in London and he’s certainly got the quality to raise his levels further.
Haller has been left isolated at times in the final third this campaign, but enjoyed real success when leading the line in the vital league win over Southampton.
The Frenchman scored in the 3-1 victory at the weekend, with wide players Michail Antonio and Jarrod Bowen both working off him effectively.
He is a 25-year-old target man that can bring others into play when they are around him and is a major goal threat in the air too.
Former Hammers striker Ashton has discussed the way that West Ham use Haller and how to get the best from him.
“As soon as you put players around Haller with a bit of pace, like Antonio and Jarrod Bowen, that’s when you see the best of him, when the pressure is not necessarily all on himself, and we saw that against Southampton when he really shone,” Ashton said, as quoted by the club’s official website.
“You have players like myself, Andy Carroll and Sebastien Haller, who are only as good as players making runs in and around them, taking away defenders and giving you a free run to really attack the ball, lay the ball off and flick things around the corner.”
West Ham appear to have stumbled across a combination that could work for them in the remainder of the season and they are going to need goals to keep themselves in the top-flight.
Hammers boss David Moyes is preparing his side to travel to Arsenal on Saturday and his team are only above the relegation places on goal difference.
They should avoid going back to a complete defensive block and put faith in Haller to lead the line, as long as Bowen and Antonio are given licence to join him.