In a sign of what may be to come on a busy Deadline Day, West Ham have signalled their intent to strengthen by buying CSKA Moscow’s Nikola Vlasic.
Having suffered through a frustratingly idle transfer window until last week, prior to their most important campaign in years, West Ham fans have woken to welcomed news of another marquee signing.
To complement the club’s acquisition of Champions League-winning French international Kurt Zouma, the Hammers announced their purchase of 23-year-old Vlasic, for a rumoured fee of 30 million euros. It is hardly a small sum for the traditionally thrifty Irons, but may well be a price worth paying for the 2020 Russian Premier League Player of the Year.
West Ham United are delighted to announce the signing of Croatia international attacker Nikola Vlašić. The talented 23-year-old arrives on five-year deal for an undisclosed fee from Russian Premier League club CSKA Moscow. (Via: whufc.com)
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With Zouma and Vlasic’s transfers in the last few days, West Ham’s net spend rockets to above 60 million – an indication of the owners’ confidence in manager David Moyes.
Vlasic is no stranger to the Premier League, having spent an unhappy year at Everton as a 19-year-old. The former Hajduk Split talent went on to join then-Russian champions CSKA and grew into the league’s best-attacking midfielder.
Champions League fans, in particular, will remember his stellar role as the Russian side defeated holders Real Madrid twice in the 2018-19 group stage. Since then, the Croat has only gone from strength to strength, with 33 goals from midfield in his 3 years in the Russian capital.
Vlasic also instantly elevates the quality of chances West Ham’s talisman Michail Antonio will receive in the box – making a formidable Hammers attack even scarier.
Vlasic Purchase might signal the end of Lingard chase
Having lost key man Jesse Lingard at the end of his loan spell last season, a vacancy in attacking midfield was there to be filled.
Early in the season, this gap in the playing XI had been filled by last season’s star purchase Said Benrahma, but the goal was always to re-sign Lingard if possible.
With Vlasic (the rumoured plan B) now signed, it seems unlikely the Mancunian dynamo will be returning to the London Stadium any time soon (in claret and blue anyway).
Hammers fans can only hope that their new main man can fill the void Lingard left, if not more. If Vlasic’s considerable talent and stat sheet is any indicator, they’ll have nothing to worry about.