Nikola Vlasic has made a huge impact for CSKA Moscow since moving to the Russian side on loan during the summer transfer window. The Croatian youngster has immediately slotted into the side and propelled them up to fifth in the Premier League, picking up an assist in four games playing on the right side of a three-man midfield in a 5-3-2 system.
He seemed to save his best for European nights last season, playing well for Hajduk Split against Everton before being one of the Blues’ best performers in a doomed Europa League campaign, scoring two goals with one assist.
On his Champions League debut last night away at Viktoria Plzen in the Czech Republic with his side down 2-0 at the break, Vlasic started off the second half with a nifty move to cross into the box, allowing Fedor Chalov to pull one back.
And then late into time added on with CSKA still down a goal, Vlasic showed he had nothing but icewater in his veins, calmly banging home a penalty to tie the game with seconds to go.
The Liverpool Echo seem to think that Vlasic has no intention of playing for Everton again, but in truth the 20-year-old was misused out on the wing in his time at the Blues. Somewhere between a #8 and a #10, he still needs time to develop his game and show that he can truly control it from a central position. Let’s see what next summer brings.