According to The Sun, the Hammers have paid out a whopping £45 million to sign the striker on a five-year deal from Bundesliga side Eintracht Frankfurt, eclipsing the deal for Felipe Anderson 12 months ago.
Sunderland, however, reportedly had the chance to sign the Frenchman in 2015. The Black Cats and Brentford were among his suitors according to L’Equipe, with FC Utrecht wanting a mere £5.7 million at the time for him.
Both clubs seemingly passed up the chance to sign Haller, who was 21 at the time, and the 6ft 3inch striker went on to join Frankfurt where his goal scoring exploits have since prompted a West Ham mega-money deal.
Sunderland were at the time managed by Dick Advocaat. It’s surprising the Dutchman didn’t feel fit to move for Haller who had netted 11 goals in 17 games during his debut campaign in Advocaat’s native Holland.
The Black Cats that summer instead shelled out big money for the likes of Fabio Borini and Jeremain Lens, with the latter managing just three goals in 20 Premier League games before being farmed out on loan.
Lens has since permanently signed for Besiktas, where his record stands at two goals in 52 games. Borini has had slightly better luck, featuring for Italian giants AC Milan after his permanent move in 2018.
Sam Allardyce managed to save Sunderland from the drop in the 2015-16 campaign. However, a year later and relegation to the Championship was confirmed. Who knows what difference Haller could have made with the Black Cats now in League One?
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