There was some sympathy for Nikola Vlasic when late in the summer transfer window when Marco Silva had him training away from the main group of players at Finch Farm. After all, he had done what he could in the limited playing time he’d gotten mostly out on the wings last season under three different managers.
When Everton decided to keep Academy graduate Kieran Dowell as Gylfi Sigurdsson’s understudy for the season and send Vlasic out on loan to CSKA Moscow, there was some moaning and groaning among the fanbase, but for the most part Blues still saw the player in positive light for the future.
And then started the concerted campaign from his agent and family as well as the player himself with trying to get him a move away from Everton. Multiple references to the past managers at the Blues, claims that Silva and Director of Football Marcel Brands did not know what they were doing, etc.
A couple of solid performances in the Champions League strengthened his case, and there was more talk from the Vlasic camp. And now in the lead-up to another UCL Matchday, he’s been talking again and it seems the player is hell-bent on losing any Everton goodwill from the fans that he might have left.
When asked about who he favoured to win the competition this season, he commented to Gazzetta dello Sport -
He went on to talk about his time in England, but clearly hasn’t either been watching or remains blithely ignorant of anything he’s not involved in.
“In the Premier League, only the top five or six teams, managed by foreigners like Klopp or Guardiola, play great football.
”The others think only about defending, focusing on the physical aspect. That’s not how I want to play.”
When asked where he would like to play, Vlasic continued the self-marketing trail he’s on with -
“In the future, I’d like to play in La Liga, which is very technical.
”It’s been the best over the past 10 years, where every club has to prove it can play.”
Whether Vlasic has the speed and skill to play for the kind of team in La Liga that he’s dreaming of remains to be seen, but for now it’s appearing clearer by the day that Vlasic has played his last game for the Blues.
Still, Everton hold all the cards, and can choose to bring him back into the fold as cover for Sigurdsson next season, or indeed sell him to the highest bidder, even if it’s to a club in China for all we care. In the meantime though, he would be well served to continue to do his talking on the pitch, with the ball.