Sébastien Haller secures €31m BVB switch from Ajax
Borussia Dortmund have completed the signing of Ajax striker Sébastien Haller for a reported €31m.
The 28-year-old has put pen to paper on a four-year deal at Signal Iduna Park, keeping him at the club until 2026.
Dortmund’s Sporting Director Sebastian Kehl told the club’s official website: “We’re very pleased to have been able to sign Sébastien. The overall package is very promising. Sébastien possesses a strong physical presence and he is physically very resilient.
Borussia Dortmund is excited to announce the signing of Sébastien Haller from Ajax on a contract until 2026! ✍️ pic.twitter.com/Ppu8jclVvs
— Borussia Dortmund (@BlackYellow) July 6, 2022
“With his experience, he can also offer support and stability to our young attacking players. During the talks with us, he made it clear that he has big ambitions with BVB.”
Haller is the man Edin Terzic has chosen to replace Erling Haaland in his attack, after the prolific Norwegian joined Manchester City last month.
The 15-time Ivory Coast international will wear Haaland’s number nine shirt in Germany. But with the latter having scored 86 goals in 89 appearances for Borussia Dortmund, he certainly leaves a tough void to fill.
However, the former Frankfurt man showed signs of such a clinical nature in the Netherlands last season, a year he ended with 34 goals in all competitions, 11 of which coming in the UEFA Champions League.
Haller also spoke to the club’s website: “As part of the BVB family, I can’t wait to feel the support of more than 80,000 spectators. We’ll hopefully achieve great things together in the next few years and be able to celebrate together too.”
Your favourite Haller moment❓
— AFC Ajax (@AFCAjax) July 6, 2022
Haller’s career so far
Born in France, the six foot two striker joined the AJ Auxerre academy at just 13 years old and progressed through the ranks before making his senior debut at 18 in 2012.
Haller was prolific at youth level for the French national team but at club level, it took a loan spell with Utrecht in the Eredivisie in 2015 for him to really burst onto the scene.
Scoring four goals against Dordrecht in 2015 saw him catch the headlines and contributed to his tally of 11 he bagged in the league that season, along with five assists.
After two more years in the centre of the Netherlands, Haller left with 51 goals and 16 assists, which attracted interest from the major European leagues.
In 2017 a move to Eintracht Frankfurt saw him take his first steps into German football. 13 goals in his debut campaign in all competitions wasn’t a bad tally, but it was in the 2018/19 season where he really made his name.
That term Haller bagged 20 goals in all competitions and 12 assists, as Frankfurt went on a historic run to the UEFA Europa League semi-finals, where they cruelly lost to Chelsea on penalties.
The following summer, after such prolific form in the Bundesliga, Chelsea’s London rivals West Ham United brought him to England for a reported €50m.
With the weight of such a hefty price tag on his shoulders, Haller struggled to adjust to life in the Premier League, one of world football’s most competitive leagues.
But he still managed to bow out in style, with his staggering bicycle kick goal against Crystal Palace in December 2020 his final one for the Irons, as he would leave in the following month to join Erik ten Hag’s Ajax for a club record €22.5m, after making his senior international debut for the Ivory Coast (His mother is Ivorian).
In a league where he’d done so well with Utrecht previously, this was Haller’s chance to kickstart his career once more. That was exactly what he’d do, as in just half a season, he registered 20 direct goal contributions in 23 appearances across all competitions.
And that was a sign of things to come as in his first, and only, full year at the Johan Cruijff ArenA, he notched up 41 in 43 (34 goals, nine assists).
After a successful European run at Frankfurt, he would then capture global attention in the UEFA Champions League for Ajax, where he became the first player to score four goals on his debut in the competition, in a 5-1 away win at Sporting.
With 11 goals, Haller finished third in the tournament’s goal rankings, placing only behind Karim Benzema (15) and Robert Lewandowski (13).
He leaves Ajax with two Dutch titles and Dutch Cup to his name.
A good fit for BVB?
Dortmund have acquired the services of one of last season’s most prolific number nines in European football and a striker in the prime years of his career.
Given his history at Frankfurt and the level at which he performed for Ajax last term, most fans are expecting big things from Sébastien Haller at Borussia Dortmund.
In his historic Champions League campaign, of course, he netted in both games against the Black and Yellows, while claiming two assists and with the club aiming to go far in the competition, he will surely be a big help.
A similar build to Haaland though not as quick, Haller surely has the physicality, technical ability and goal-scoring prowess to thrive once again in the Bundesliga.
With Karim Adeyemi and Donyell Malen also at the club, Edin Terzic would like to think he now has adequate options up front in Haaland’s absence.
Whether the transfer proves to be a success, only time will tell.