Nikola Vlasic’s situation at Everton is increasingly of interest to the Croatian media.
With the World Cup on the horizon, Vlasic’s hopes of playing a meaningful part, or any part at all, are in danger because Sam Allardyce doesn’t seem to trust the young striker.
Allardyce’s recent comments about Vlasic being more a solution for the long term have only served to underline the concern, and last week the player’s father spoke to the Croatian media.
Josko Vlasic was diplomatic in his comments but couldn’t hide he thought Allardyce was going about things incorrectly at Everton: “It’s not my place to talk about a new coach, to talk about the expertise or actions of a new coach. I would explain it differently.
“Everton is a club that has to live from young players… Everton cannot buy a £100m player, and it’s not likely anyone worth a hundred million would come to such as Everton who does not fight for trophies, is it?
“Therefore, Everton has to live from young footballers, foreign or English, that is all the same. And there’s a problem with Nikola, who started great and was then sent off to the side. To understand, Nikola is progressing day by day, where he is today is better than he was a year ago or a few months ago. He should be the prospect of the club, not some older players.”
Now Croatia’s Sportske Novosti have spoken to Nikola Jurcevic, who they present as being knowledgable on the English game, having worked at West Ham.
Jurcevic tried to explain Allardyce for a Croatian audience: “He has the status of a special trainer on the island. But the fact that the best English clubs are led by foreign coaches, never called him, says enough that he doesn’t meet the highest demands, clubs’ ambitions are far greater than his possibilities.”
Then explaining Premier League clubs can discard players even after paying a big fee, Jurcevic added: “Vlasic had a great start, he even started to make use of the starting opportunity, but then he disappeared. It’s damaging for a young player and he needs his games to develop. And Allardyce has brought two other players this winter and it certainly doesn’t go in favour of our young player. And if Vlasic’s status is not upwards before the summer, he will probably send him somewhere on loan.”
An Everton exit next summer for Vlasic would come as a disappointment to many of the club’s fans, but if he’s not getting games then an exit makes sense.