Everton winger Nikola Vlasic has told Sports Gazette that he didn't hesitate at all when the Toffees wanted to sign him – and hinted that he had previously snubbed a move to Tottenham Hotspur.
Whilst Everton splashed the cash on signings like Jordan Pickford, Michael Keane and Gylfi Sigurdsson, some deals didn't get quite so much press – and one such deal saw Nikola Vlasic join the club from Hajduk Split.
Vlasic, 20, emerged as a top talent in his native Croatia, hitting four goals and nine assists in all competitions for Hajduk last season, triggering major interest in his signature towards the end of the summer transfer window.
It was Everton who snapped him up, and he has been fast-tracked into the first team with some mixed results, scoring against Apollon Limassol in the Europa League but also switching off for Burnley's winning goal in their 1-0 victory at Goodison Park.
The Croatian still seems to be a major talent for the future, and he is one of few players bringing some youth and energy to Ronald Koeman's lethargic team.
Now, Vlasic has commented on his move to England, telling Sports Gazette that he actually had the chance to join a big Premier League team some time before Everton's bid for him – and that team is believed to be Tottenham.
Vlasic's father was quoted by Four Four Two in 2014 as saying that, amid interest from Spurs, Vlasic was too young to be heading to England, and should focus on playing for Hajduk.
Vlasic now admits that he didn't see himself playing in England when Spurs allegedly made their move, so he snubbed a switch, but felt much more mature and ready to sign for Everton in August, as he didn't hesitate at all when they came calling.
“I never eyed the money behind big transfers, I was always looking at how to improve and what could help me improve”, said Vlasic. “Just for fun I told my father ‘yeah sure let’s go to England’ but honestly I couldn’t picture myself there, yet. I was only focusing on Hajduk.”
“Now I feel much more mature and when Everton showed interest I didn’t hesitate at all. It was no ‘maybe’, it was an honest ‘yes’,” he added.