Everton may not be playing in European competition this season, but one of their players was in Champions League action on Wednesday night.
The Toffees' poor campaign last season means that they aren't in the Europa League this term, and yet Nikola Vlasic managed to play in the Champions League this week.
Vlasic, signed from Hajduk Split last summer, endured a difficult first season with Everton and was completely frozen out under Sam Allardyce before being allowed to go by Marco Silva.
The Croatian winger penned a season-long loan deal with Russian side CSKA Moscow, and he has been turning in promising displays in the opening stages of his stint.
On Wednesday, Vlasic started for CSKA in their opening Champions League group game against Viktoria Plzen, and his side were 2-0 down thanks to a Michal Krmencik brace.
However, Vlasic started the fightback by teeing up Fedor Chalov to make it 2-1, and Vlasic then stepped up to score a 95th minute equaliser from the penalty spot to rescue a point.
With a goal and an assist in his first ever Champions League game, Vlasic can be happy with his contribution – and Everton fans have taken to Twitter to discuss the 20-year-old.
Many believe that the Toffees made a mistake loaning him out as he is better than Oumar Niasse and Dominic Calvert-Lewin, with some wanting him back as soon as possible - though others still can't really see a future for him under Silva having been loaned out this summer.
Vlasic scoring moring goals in Champions League group stages than Everton in their entire history. What a man.— Jœl (@Joelissimmo) September 19, 2018
Nikola Vlasic with an assist and equaliser for CSKA. Glad he's getting games, should come back a much better player— slugabed180 (@DanWilliams018) September 19, 2018
Bring Vlasic home— David Mulray (@DavidMulray1878) September 19, 2018
Bolasie the other night, and now Vlasic scoring in the champions league. Why are Everton players so much more effective when they’re not playing for Everton?— Kevin MacIver (@maciverton) September 19, 2018
Unpopular opinion: Vlasic is better than DCL. Assist and a goal (pen) in the champs league tonight. I would have him back at FF tomorrow— Lewis M (@LewMc92) September 19, 2018
Get vlasic back in our team goal and assist in the champions league— Joshua (@joshuanorman97) September 19, 2018
Vlasic proving his quality whilst we still use niasse off the bench— Luke (@LukeEFC_) September 19, 2018
Vlasic doing it in the Champions League yet some fans don’t think he’s worth giving a shot— Matty (@_MattyEFC) September 19, 2018
Vlasic with a goal and an assist in a Champions League fixture whilst we keep faith in DCL who has all the grace of a new born Giraffe on Roller Blades...— Niasse’sLocker (@clu3lessrobert) September 19, 2018
There is a very good player to be had in Vlasic. Just didn’t get the game time to showcase everything. Was looking forward to seeing him play this season. Hope we get to see him on the pitch next season— The Toffee Blues (@EvertonNewsFeed) September 19, 2018
Happy for Vlaśic, hope he continues to do well. Don't see a future for him at Everton unfortunately.— Lee (@Evertxnian) September 19, 2018
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