The 22 magnificent stats for our departing striker Haller

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Haller Header 1420

Ajax is saying farewell to a great striker, as Sébastien Haller moves to Borussia Dortmund. As a genuine target forward, he caused quite some upheaval in the Eredivisie and UEFA Champions League over the last season and a half. With the departure of the French-Ivorian for the top German team, it is high time to look at some highlights of Haller's 2022 year in chronological order. One thing is clear: the leading striker has earned his place in the Ajax hall of fame in just a very short time.

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Haller transferred to Ajax from West Ham United halfway through the 2020/2021 season. This made the former FC Utrecht player the most expensive transfer ever in the rich history of the Amsterdam club. The record-breaking transfer delivered goals in the year and a half that followed like he was on a conveyor belt. A look at (mainly) his goals... a lot of goals.

• The (magnificent) stats: Sébastien Haller appeared as an Ajax player in 66 official fixtures between January 2021 and May 2022. The Frenchman with Ivorian roots scored 47 times. The striker also set up sixteen assists.
• Ajax won 51 matches where Haller was playing. Nine ended in a draw, while Ajax lost just six matches with Haller playing.
• The striker scored his first goal in just his second game for Ajax 1. Away to FC Twente (14 January 2022), our Ivorian - who was first to score for Ajax - was also good for an assist. Huntelaar took full advantage of what his new teammate set up for him.
• How do Haller's 47 goals and 16 assists over 66 official fixtures compare with the Ajax team's previous performance? With these stats, Haller was following in the footsteps of Dusan Tadic, the most recent player to be directly involved in at least 63 goals in his first 66 official appearances for Ajax. In his first 66 matches for Ajax, Tadic had a part in 74 goals: 46 goals scored & 28 assists. The previous player to score at least 47 in his first 66 official appearances for Ajax, like Haller, was Klaas Jan Huntelaar: he scored 55 goals in his first 66 matches for Ajax 1.
• Haller was responsible for scoring the opening goal (home or away) for Ajax on thirteen separate occasions.
• This top striker made all the difference for Ajax on four occasions - that's how many times he scored the winning goal.
• Haller only played for Ajax for eighteen months. Once again, Tadic was the last player who scored at least 47 goals in his first eighteen months with Ajax, as did Haller. He managed to score 50. Before him, Huntelaar scored 60 goals in his first eighteen months.
• Haller scored all 47 of his goals for Ajax from within the penalty area.
• Right from the start, Haller scored four goals in his debut appearance in the UEFA Champions League (Sporting CP v Ajax on 15 September, 2021). Never before has a player for a Dutch team managed to score four times in a single Champions League match and on his debut appearance in this competition. Former Ajax player Marco van Basten managed to score four times in one Champions League match, back in 1992. The former world cup striker was wearing the AC Milan strip at the time.
• Back now to his goal-fest European debut against Sporting CP. Haller scored twice with the left foot, once with the right, and even headed one into the net. A gold-star performance, earning Haller the title Man of the Match plus the match ball afterwards.

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• Haller scored Ajax's 100th home goal in the UEFA Champions League on 7 December, 2021, playing at home against Sporting CP (4-2). That evening, the tally stood at 78 goals for Ajax in the Johan Cruijff ArenA. Before the ArenA opened, however, Ajax had already racked up 22 goals in the Olympic Stadium.
• Last season, Haller became only the second player ever to score in all six group matches in one season. Cristiano Ronaldo was the first, in the 2017/2018 season. The Portuguese star was playing for Real Madrid at the time. For Haller, it was his first six Champions League appearances.
• Haller ultimately scored at least once in each of his first seven Champions League fixtures.
• Haller scored a total of eleven times in the Champions League last season, 2021/2022. With that record, he became the first Ajax player to score at least ten goals in one Champions League season.
• With eleven European goals to his name last season, the striker equalled Ruud Geels' team record. That former Ajax player, renowned for heading the ball, also scored eleven European goals, in 1975/1976. Geels played for Ajax in the UEFA Cup that season.
• Things went very strangely for goal-scorer Haller in the away leg against Benfica in the UEFA Champions League round of 16. First, the striker managed an own goal (1-1, following Jan Vertonghen's contribution), following which Haller then got the ball into the proper net three minutes later!
• To date, Haller has scored every 114 minutes for Ajax 1 (across all competitions). The last two Ajax players with at least 50 matches across all competitions and no more than 114 minutes on average between scoring goals were Huntelaar (also 114 minutes, with 158 goals in 257 matches) and Benni McCarthy (101 minutes, with 24 goals in 53 matches).
• Haller crowned his 50th official appearance as an Ajax player by producing his first hat-trick for the Amsterdam club. On 13 February, 2022, FC Twente didn't get a look-in at the ArenA: 5-0. Haller got the ball into the net three times with his right foot.
• Haller was top scorer in the Eredivisie last season, with 21 goals. The striker was the 22nd Ajax player to claim the title of (joint) top scorer at this highest level. All 21 of his predecessors scored more times than Haller in the relevant season. The former Ajax player came close to top scorers Marco van Basten in 1984/1985 and Dennis Bergkamp in 1991/1992; these club icons were both top scorers with 22 goals at the time.
• Who are Haller's favourite opponents? Which teams has he scored most often against? As an Ajax player, Haller scored five times against Sporting CP (in the Champions League), as well as against RKC Waalwijk and FC Twente in the Eredivisie. Furthermore, he scored just three times against Besiktas (Champions League) and PSV (Eredivisie).
• Haller scored his 47th and final goal as an Ajax player in the championship match against sc Heerenveen. On 11 May, 2022, he signed off from the ArenA for the last time with a penalty kick, making it 3-0. Ajax won 5-0 and with that secured the 36th national title win in history!
• Haller won the national championship with Ajax twice (2021 and 2022) plus the KNVB Cup once - in 2021.

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