Everton winger Nikola Vlasic has become a forgotten man in 2018.
The father of Everton winger Nikola Vlasic has told Dnevno in Croatia that manager Sam Allardyce should focus on youth rather than ageing players.
Everton swooped to land wide man Vlasic from Hajduk Split back in August, raiding the Croatian outfit after facing them in the Europa League qualifiers.
Vlasic seemingly did enough to impress Everton’s Steve Walsh and then-manager Ronald Koeman, and he was signed to go immediately into first-team reckoning, rather than the Under-23’s or to go out on loan.
Whilst the 20-year-old has shown promise this season, he has been largely frozen out by Koeman’s replacement Sam Allardyce, as he has played just twice in the Premier League in 2018.
Many have wondered just why Allardyce won’t use Vlasic, with fears that young talent will either leave Everton, or not want to sign for the club in the future if they don’t get chances to shine.
Now, Vlasic’s father Josko has told Dnevno in Croatia that whilst he won’t tell Allardyce what to do, he thinks Vlasic should be a focus of Everton’s side for now and for the future, rather than using ageing players.
Whilst the likes of Ashley Williams and Phil Jagielka feature at the back, Everton rarely use ‘ageing’ players out wide, with Yannick Bolasie and Theo Walcott – both 28 – the oldest players to feature as wingers.
Josko added that Vlasic isn’t unhappy right now, but Everton should be using and developing their young players as they can’t afford to buy £100million talents right now.
“It’s not my place to talk about a new coach, to talk about the expertise or actions of a new coach. I would explain it differently. Everton is a club that has to live from young players… Everton cannot buy a £100m player, and it’s not likely anyone worth £100m would come to a team such as Everton, who does not fight for trophies, is it?”
“Therefore, Everton has to live from young footballers, foreign or English. And there’s a problem with Nikola, who started great and was then sent off to the side. Nikola is progressing day by day, where he is today is better than where he was a year ago or a few months ago. He should be the focus of the club, not some older players.”
“Not at all (unhappy). He works like never before. He knows where he came, he knows how in England he’s expected to be better than three others to find a place. And he will find it,” he added.