Allowed to leave Everton on loan by Marco Silva, ending up at CSKA Moscow, Nikola Vlasic is enjoying life in Russia.
Swapping no midweek football for the Champions League in the process, the Croatia U21 international has already proven himself in Europe’s biggest club competition by helping his side beat Real Madrid on Tuesday night.
Scoring the only goal of the game by making the most of a poor Toni Kroos pass back to the goalkeeper, the 20-year-old received a lot of praise from his manager after the game.
Relayed by Tass, Viktor Goncharenko said: “He has been amazing, not just today, but in other games too. After joining the team, he looked at it and understood he needed to become a leader. He took that upon himself. The advantage he gives us was visible in the goal he scored.
“Vlasic worked hard both in defence and attack today. He’s ambitious. He wants to play, not sit on the bench. I think the decision to go to CSKA suited him.”
Grabbing the opportunity handed to him by the Russian side with both hands, the Everton loanee appears to be doing his utmost to prove Marco Silva wrong and show the Portuguese manager why he thought he was the best midfielder at Goodison Park.
This is what his father, who also happens to be his agent, claimed last week, when he told Championat: “Vlasic told Silva before leaving he considered himself the best midfielder in the team. The manager made a big mistake.”
Since joining CSKA, Vlasic has scored three goals and assisted his teammates twice in eight game in all competitions.