Eintracht Frankfurt have always leaned on Alexander Meier's brilliance, but has the business capital found a new leading man? Frenchman Sebastien Haller has hit the ground running.
After two goals in Eintracht Frankfurt's German Cup win, Sebastien Haller's numbers for the season are becoming impressive.
Eleven goals and four assists have the 23-year-old Frenchman flying, and Frankfurt are smiling at what looks to be one of the league's best attacking signings of the summer.
"He takes players with him and creates space," head coach Niko Kovac said after the 4-0 win. "If he can stay fit, he can have a great career."
When Frankfurt paid Utrecht seven million euros for the striker's services, perhaps expectations should have been higher. Haller's goal tally was double digits for three consecutive seasons in the Eredivisie, and he left with an impressive 51 goals in 98 games. He was also named club player of the year in 2015.
Haller, though, was and continues to be cool about any hype. "Just because I'm the most expensive transfer [at Frankfurt] doesn't mean I'm a Messi or Ronaldo," Haller told Hessenschau when he first signed.
While he might not be breaking records, he is breaking through Bundesliga defenses. Robust, good off the ball (as Kovac said) and with a strong scoring sense, Haller has sent a timely reminder to other teams that not only do goals don't have to cost the world but that he was the one they missed out on.
Haller's sideways scissor kick to beat Stuttgart in the dying moments of the game - September's goal of the month - was sensational, but it wasn't even his first acrobatic effort in Frankfurt colors (see tweet above).
While Kovac characterizes the club's new number nine as "an easygoing lad", the Frenchman's ability to handle change might be his best kept secret. Having turned down a move to China because he wanted to stay with his family, the recent birth of his first daughter has, understandably, changed his priorities. "You do everything for the child, and then for yourself," he said.
At the moment, Haller doesn't seem able to put a foot wrong. Eintracht Frankfurt will be hoping that stays the case for as long as possible, because sometimes all it takes is a consistent goalscorer to set a team apart from the rest.