Newcastle were linked with CSKA Moscow midfielder Nikola Vlasic early this past summer after also reportedly tracking him in 2018.
Vlasic had joined Everton in the summer of 2017 from Croatian club Hajduk Split for £9m. Under then-manager Sam Allardyce, the young midfielder made only 12 appearances in the Premier League.
The following summer, new Everton manager Marco Silva had the Croatian training with the reserves and made him available for a loan move. Newcastle were reportedly interested in the move, but he ultimately ended up at CSKA Moscow.
Vlasic had a fine season in Russia making 31 appearances with 8 goals and 7 assists. Vlasic was again made available this past summer by Everton and Newcastle were steadily linked with the attacker in June.
However, CSKA brought the 22-year-old back to Moscow but this time on a permanent £14m deal. It has proven to be an excellent capture for the Russians.
Vlasic has improved significantly for both club and country this season. He has already scored 7 goals to go with 6 assists so far.
In the five Euro qualifiers for Croatia since the start of the Premier League season, Vlasic has started four games and has three goals. The 2018 World Cup runner-ups finished top of their qualifying group. Martin Dubravka’s Slovakia finished third.
Vlasic, who can play on either wing or centrally as an attacking midfielder, could have added some much-needed creativity in the attacking third. He also has an eye for goal and we think at just £14m, he would have been an outstanding addition this summer.
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