West Ham have completed the signing of Croatian midfielder Nikola Vlasic from CSKA Moscow.
The 23-year-old joins the Hammers for £26.8million plus £7.7million in add-ons, on a five-year contract lasting until 2026.
The attacking midfielder has performed emphatically in the Russian league for CSKA Moscow ever since he arrived there on loan from Everton in 2018.
His spell on Merseyside did not live up to expectations following a £10million move from Croatian side Hajduk Split, only managed to make 19 appearances during his time with the Toffees, scoring two goals.
However after a turn in form, the Croatian international has scored 33 goals and assisted 21 others in just three seasons for CSKA Moscow. This is the same kind of form that helped him to win the Russian Premier League Footballer of the Year 2020 award.
How good is he?
Looking at the past couple of seasons, Vlasic is a silky playmaker who possesses good speed and strength to burst past defenders. This will make him a well-suited fit in the Hammers team, especially with the likes of Pablo Fornals and Said Benrahma displaying similar energy levels on the pitch.
As an attacking midfielder, he is also known in Russia for his impressive passing ability and dribbling qualities, which should help him link up with the likes of Michail Antonio at West Ham this season.
The Hammers previously had Manchester United’s Jesse Lingard on loan to play in this position, but the arrival of Vlasic looks to have brought an end to his time in Claret and Blue.
West Ham’s incredible start to the season, earning seven points from three games, has also filled the fan base with confidence leading up to our Europa League campaign.
Vlasic is certainly a player that can bring valuable experience and composure to the team, having featured 18 times in the competition as well as six times in the UEFA Champions League.
Will he be a success?
His performances and statistics over the past few seasons leaves West Ham fans with lots to be excited about. However, the club must be wary that his previous spell in the Premier League did not go as planned
An inadequate time at Everton led to his sale to CSKA Moscow just a year after they signed him. Although he has improved and matured since then, it is important for the 24-year-old not to carry too much pressure with him to England as he prepares to adapt to the Premier League.
Having said that, West Ham’s new £26.8million signing obviously has bags of potential and, as we’ve seen before, David Moyes will be the right man to help unleash Vlasic for the Hammers.