Seb Haller excitement at playing against his pal Paul Pogba is likely to go on hold this afternoon with United’s French star a big doubt.
Haller has been a fan of the United midfielder since joining his first training session with the French Under 16s when Pogba was already playing two age groups above.
And it was no surprise to the Hammers striker that the often controversial United player would achieve which he believes is even more impressive given what is expected of Pogba.
‘He is someone and he knows he is a star and when you’re a star, everyone criticises you, even if you are good at what you are doing. People even criticise [Lionel] Messi and [Cristiano] Ronaldo.’
Pressure on high profile players, Haller adds and as West Ham’s lone striker, Haller is experiencing similar levels of expectation and living up to them.
Haller is emerging into the Pogba bracket and today will be another big opportunity that he could well become one of the summer’s top buys.
He said: ‘I think the club here paid a lot of money for me to come here and win these battles.
‘I can’t promise I will always win them, but I can promise I will give everything to win these battles.
‘This is football, so you can win or lose against anyone but, as long as you keep your focus high and really want to win the battle at 100 per cent, I think it’s a great thing.’
ClaretandHugh says: That the Hammers have such as Haller in the squad demonstrates how far we have progressed over the last couple of years under Pellegrini. Even back in the summer there were big doubts that he could be prised out of Eintracht but, now on board. he has brought a whole new level of expectation to the London Stadium That he should even be discussed in the same terms as Pogba is sufficient in itself to show where the club is heading hopefully. His battle with Harry Maguire today is one of the fascinating sub plots of a game which will tell us an awful lot about where we really are after four games against teams we would not have expected to be beaten by – although that may have been a different proposition last season of course. Haller is attracting a lot of publicity and rightly so but this afternoon could send that to an entirely different level if all goes well.