His West Ham career has got off to a slow start but there are signs Nikola Vlasic is improving.
Vlasic put in his best performance so far in a West Ham shirt in the 2-1 Carabao Cup quarter-final defeat to rivals Tottenham. The Croatian was a threat throughout and assisted Jarrod Bowen’s goal.
He is getting better at a vital time because the Hammers really need him at his best over the next few months.
West Ham summer signing Nikola Vlasic is showing signs of improvement right when the Hammers need him.
The 24-year-old’s minutes have been limited, he has made 14 appearances many being off the bench or Europa League starts, playing the full 90 minutes just once.
However, after the promising performance versus Spurs expect him to play a lot more.
With Michail Antonio sidelined with Covid-19, Said Benrahma struggling for form and soon departing for the African Cup of Nations in January, as well as plenty of fixtures approaching over the Christmas period and second half of the season; West Ham need the Vlasic more than ever.
Fans need to be patient with the attacking midfielder, see Benrahma as an example. West Ham manager, David Moyes, restricted his minutes when he first arrived last season in order to coach him to his high standards. With the full faith of Moyes we now see the Algerian in the side and also trusted in the bigger games.
There are signs Moyes is treating Vlasic the same and he could gain the long-term rewards. We saw in the Spurs game how hard he worked out of possession and on the ball he provided the creativity and energy West Ham have been crying out for in recent matches. He was perhaps hard done by to be subbed off after 68 minutes.
The transfer window is just around the corner, with West Ham wanting a centre back and striker as priorities a move for Jesse Lingard may not be made. Lingard would only further restrict Vlasic’s development and game time – confidence needs to be installed in the £25 million man.
Over the festive and new year period there is a real chance for Vlasic to make a name for himself at West Ham. He has the potential to do just that, let’s hope he delivers.