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Vlašic happier with game time at CSKA Moscow

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Croatian has not minced his words about Everton since leaving on loan for the Russians in August

Real Madrid v CSKA Moscow - UEFA Champions League Group G
Vlašic scored twice in 19 Everton appearances last season
Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images

Everton’s loaned-out forward Nikola Vlašic has reiterated his frustration at the lack of first team opportunities he received with the Blues last term.

Vlašic, 21, joined the Toffees in August 2017 for £10 million from Hajduk Split, who had played Everton in the Europa League the week before, but the Croat struggled to establish himself in the side during his first campaign in England.

He made 19 Blues appearances in 2017/18, though only six came after the appointment of Sam Allardyce in November 2017, before Allardyce’s replacement, Marco Silva, sent him away from training during pre-season.

Now spending the season on loan at Russia outfit CSKA Moscow, where he has scored seven goals in 22 outings - including a Champions League winner against Real Madrid - Vlašic admitted he is enjoying his football far more this year than while at Goodison Park last term.

Everton FC v Apollon Limassol - UEFA Europa League
Vlašic’s only Everton goals came in both Europa League group games against Apollon Limassol
Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Speaking to FOX Sports Radio, he said:

“It was a lot of change at Everton and I didn’t find a place there. It’s always hard there, because if you don’t take your chance first time, then it’s hard to get another.

“Here, I have a chance every time. Even if I play badly in one game, I know I will have another chance. It’s the best that has happened for me, this trust that I have with the [CSKA] coach, the staff, everybody.”

This is not the first time Vlašic has spoken about Everton since making the temporary switch to Russia, having branded Allardyce’s style of play ‘awful’ and admitting he does not expect to return to Merseyside next season in January.

Though Silva has also said the door is not closed on Vlašic, who was named in the Croatia squad for their upcoming Euro 2020 qualifiers this week, it would seem the youngster feels his future lies elsewhere.