When Nikola Vlasic left Everton on loan to go to CSKA Moscow, he went there to prove a point, and proving a point he is.
Going through three managers in the space of a year, the attacking midfielder started under Ronald Koeman, sat on the bench under Sam Allardyce and was told minutes would be tough to find by Marco Silva.
Now in Russia for the season, the Croatian midfielder has already caught everyone’s eye, helped by the fact he scored the only goal against Real Madrid in CSKA’s 1-0 win over Julen Lopetegui’s side.
In fact, according to his agent, Vlasic is now really making a name for himself thanks to the move.
Speaking to FCInterNews, he said: “For my client, when the managers changed at Everton, it was harder to find a spot, and when he played, it wasn’t in his favoured position. In Russia, people are already saying he’s the best in the league.
“To behave like that after not playing for six months, you need to have your head firmly screwed on. Physically, thanks to his dad, he was immediately ready. In that regard, he’s a bit like Hulk, the Brazilian. And Nikola is a champion in his head, as well as in his body.”
Tonci Martic was talking to the Italian website because, prior to his move to Goodison Park, Vlasic was one of the players Inter were looking at when scouting the Croatian league, which has produced some great players over the years.
The agent also hinted a move could be on the horizon for his client, when asked if he thought Inter were still scouting him.
He added: “I hope so. It would be nice to see him in Milan one day. We’re talking about one of the best players in the Croatia U21 team, and the future of the national side.
“For Inter and other clubs, it’s an interesting profile. He’s a player who saw off the game against Real Madrid without a problem, showing his qualities despite being young. He’s 21. If that continues, it’s normal that Inter and other prestigious clubs will see him.”
We’re looking forward to next summer already…