Everton have had their fair share of transfer blunders in recent years.
Cenk Tosun simply hasn’t lived up to the billing since he arrived in a £27m deal in January 2018, while the less said about Cuco Martina and Oumar Niasse the better.
But it’s not only incoming signings that demand scrutiny.
On the one hand, the departure of Nikola Vlasic in July 2019 seemed reasonable given his failure to impress in 19 appearances for the Toffees but, on the flip side, his glowing form at CSKA Moscow suggested that it was too early to write him off.
With the global pandemic putting the return of the Premier League on hold until April 30th at the very earliest, it’s an appropriate time to assess some of Everton’s transfer decisions in recent years and catch up with how some of their players have progressed since leaving.
Let’s see where Vlasic is now…
The Croatian playmaker described his £10m move to Goodison Park as “the opportunity of a lifetime”, per Liverpool Echo.
But his dream of establishing himself in the Premier League rapidly began to evaporate during a tricky opening to the season under Ronald Koeman.
In the end he started just seven league matches during his maiden campaign and in truth he never recovered.
Vlasic agreed to move to CSKA Moscow on a season-long loan deal in August 2018 and he sufficiently impressed on his debut season to earn a permanent move less than a year later, with the Russian giants completing a £14m deal to take him away from Marco Silva.
Vlasic built the foundations for his new career in Russia with a fantastic first season in the capital.
All in he scored eight goals and provided seven assists across all competitions, including the winning strike in a dramatic 1-0 win over Real Madrid in the group stages of the Champions League.
And his progress has continued into 2019/20, with the 22-year-old currently the 6th highest rated player in the division so far this season, per Whoscored.
While operating as a central attacking midfielder, the 5ft 10 playmaker has been a creative force with the ball at his feet, providing 2.5 key passes and 2.5 dribbles per league game.
Only two players in the division can boast a higher number of key passes per game, while he has continued to offer plenty of goal contributions by notching seven goals and four assists in 22 league outings.
As things stand CSKA Moscow are five points adrift of the Champions League places, and it’s impossible to escape the feeling that Vlasic holds the key to bridging that gap.
And if the Russian outfit fail to reach Europe’s elite club competition, interest is likely to emerge in the 11-cap international’s signature.
Will Everton live to regret their decision?