Everton supporters have been reasonably upbeat in recent times after seeing their team seal a credible draw in the Premier League last weekend.
Marco Silva’s men went into their encounter with in-form and unbeaten Chelsea off the back of beating Brighton in their previous league clash, and were thus full of confidence ahead of the trip to the capital. And the Toffees came away from the meeting with a deserved point after drawing 0-0 with Maurizio Sarri’s Blues, a result which keeps the Merseysiders in ninth place in the Premier League table.
Thus, there have been many satisfied Evertonians up and down the country in recent times, several of whom are hoping for even more from their side as the season wears on after an encouraging summer of transfer business.
And while the Toffees were praised for their efforts during the close season, they weren’t hailed as much back in 2017 under the stewardship of Ronald Koeman, whose dubious recruitment that summer was summed up by a staggering £9.72 million (as per Transfermarkt) deal for Nikola Vlasic.
Ultimately, the Dutchman was backed heavily in the transfer market in a bid to take the Toffees further than the seventh place they earned under Koeman the season before, and while some signings like Jordan Pickford and Gylfi Sigurdsson have worked out, there were plenty that simply haven’t.
Be it Davy Klaassen’s woeful spell in English football; Sandro Ramirez proving that he wasn’t up to the task of adequately replacing Romelu Lukaku; or Wayne Rooney being the third number ten Koeman signed that summer, it’s fair to say that the now-Netherlands manager made plenty of errors during that transfer window – errors that ultimately cost him his job.
And a deadline day deal for Vlasic, who played against Everton for Hajduk Split in Europa League qualifying a few weeks prior to his arrival, summed up Koeman’s dubious recruitment given they spent an eye-watering £9.72 million on the unproven 21-year-old.
Vlasic, capped two times by Croatia at senior level, had come up through the ranks at Hajduk Split and went on to make 120 appearances for the club prior to his move to Goodison Park, in which time he scored 13 goals and laid on 20 assists.
And while his best season came in what proved to be his last one, in which time he scored four goals and laid on eight assists in 30 league games, it was a big risk for Koeman to take luring him to England, let alone for such a sizable price-tag.
And while Vlasic did show glimpses of promise in his first few months at Everton, he was arguably one of their most impressive performers in the early phase of the 2017/18 season, things have since gone awry for the 21-year-old to underline the error Koeman made.
Vlasic seriously struggled for regular minutes under Sam Allardyce following his appointment to replace Koeman back in November 2017, starting just four times under the Englishman, while Silva’s arrival this summer has spelt even more bad news for his Toffees prospects, given the Portuguese has shipped him out on loan to CSKA Moscow.
And with Richarlison, Bernard, and Theo Walcott also signed in the last 12 months, Vlasic’s long-term future at Everton appears very uncertain indeed – his arrival appeared to be something of panic-buy from former boss Koeman, summing up his dubious recruitment that summer.
Everton fans… what do you think? Let us know!
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