West Ham: £34.5m flop could now 'become key player' at London Stadium

West Ham United manager David Moyes watches on

West Ham United attacking midfielder Nikola Vlasic ‘could end up being an important player’ for the club, according to Daily Express journalist Ryan Taylor.

The 24-year-old joined David Moyes’ charges last August from Russian outfit CSKA Moscow, but things have not gone to plan for the player since then.

What is the latest news involving Vlasic?

Vlasic first arrived on English shores in 2017 when Everton prised him away from boyhood club Hajduk Split although he struggled to break into the first-team at Goodison Park.

The Croatia only made 19 senior appearances for the Toffees before CSKA made his stay in the Russian capital permanent following a successful loan spell.

In total, Vlasic registered 33 goals and 21 assists in 104 outings for the Krasno-sinie, prompting West Ham to splash out £34.5 million on his services last summer.

However, the versatile ace’s opportunities have once again been limited, with Moyes handing him just six Premier League starts throughout 2021/22.

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Vlasic ended up making 36 appearances for the Hammers in all competitions, scoring just one goal and providing only three assists as his side reached the Europa League semi-finals.

And his national team manager Zlatko Dalic even revealed to Croatian outlet Index in March that he believes Vlasic is “ready” to leave West Ham in search of game time to boost his World Cup prospects.

What has Taylor said about Vlasic?

Players such as Said Benrahma have initially struggled to adapt to Moyes’ demands before flourishing, and Taylor believes Vlasic also has the potential to produce his best form in claret and blue.

He told GiveMeSport: “To be honest, from my perspective, I don’t think that’s as pressing an issue as people think because, I can’t remember who it was now, but there was a player who had a sort of rough first season at West Ham and then came good in the second season.

“So, I think Vlasic could end up being an important player for West Ham.”

Could Vlasic come good for West Ham?

Benrahma featured in 30 top-flight fixtures during his maiden campaign, racking up seven goal contributions, yet that figure doubled this season as he featured more heavily in Moyes’ plans.

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And the same fate could be in store for Vlasic. The creative talent has showcased his ability at club and international level during his short career and could improve dramatically next term.

Given a regular run from the off in the starting lineup, Vlasic has the potential to become a key player for West Ham, he just needs consistent opportunities to show his true potential.

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