Desperate for a new striker to consistently find the back of the net at London Stadium, West Ham, after a painful failed attempt at signing Maxi Gómez from Celta, lumped €40m on Eintracht Frankfurt’s Sébastien Haller.
Since then, the Frenchman has already scored three goals in his first four games, and early signs suggest he might be the right man for the job going forward.
Over in Germany, Frankfurt saw their strike force completely decimated this summer, with the aforementioned Haller, Luka Jovic and Ante Rebic (on loan) all departing, with the latter two heading to Real Madrid and Milan respectively.
Speaking to Focus in Germany, the club’s director of football, Fredi Bobic, explained his hand were tied when it came to the sales, having to go against his personal wishes.
He said: “I would have liked to keep all the players we had to hand over. Unfortunately, Haller, Rebic and Jovic are no longer here, but these are the laws of the market. Therefore, you have to see these changes quite pragmatically.
“As players evolve, our club becomes a pitstop on the way to a higher level. If that becomes Real Madrid, Milan or a Premier League club like West Ham United, then you have to acknowledge that. These clubs, once again, have a different status. Players can take the next step in their careers there, but we also got value for money”.
Receiving a total of €100m for Haller and Jovic, with a potential extra €25m or so to come from the option to buy in Rebic’s loan, Frankfurt replaced them with André Silva (on loan), Dejan Joveljic from Red Star Belgrade and Bas Dost from Sporting CP for a combined €16m.
The rest of the money (after putting some to one side) allowed them to bolster the squad from top to bottom with the arrivals of Sebastian Rode, Filip Kostic, Kevin Trapp and Martin Hinteregger among others.
The laws of the market might be frustrating at times, but they can also be beneficial.