West Ham United midfielder Nikola Vlasic is set for a permanent move away from the London Stadium in January.
That’s according to a report by Italian media outlet Calciomercato, who claim that, having impressed at the Stadio Olimpico after joining Torino on a season-long loan deal this summer, the Serie A club are already planning on making the 25-year-old’s temporary switch a permanent move in the winter.
The report added that, with Il Toro possessing a €15m (£13m) option to buy the attacking midfielder at the end of the current campaign, Ivan Juric is now hoping to activate this clause in the January market.
Selling a player for a £20.4m loss on his original £33.4m fee would not typically be considered a masterclass in the transfer market. However, considering just how poor Vlasic was for West Ham, it would very much be a case of West Ham hitting the jackpot if Torino go on to active the Croatia international’s option-to-buy clause in January.
Indeed, after his move to east London last summer, the £26m-rated midfielder failed to make any real impact for the Hammers, scoring just one goal, registering no assists and creating no big chances over his 19 Premier League appearances in 2021/22.
The £70k-per-week talent also made just 8.6 passes, took a mere 0.4 shots, enjoyed just 16.5 touches and lost possession of the ball 4.4 times per game. These metrics saw the 25-year-old average a disappointing SofaScore match rating of just 6.52, ranking him as David Moyes’ third-worst performer in the top flight last season.
Furthermore, former CSKA Moscow striker Valeri Masalitin revealed in an interview with Championat (via One Football) this summer that Vlasic was completely unprepared for his move to West Ham, with the 56-year-old stating: “When he left, I always said that there was nothing to do with such a mood in England. He starts dividing games: I want to play there, I don’t want to play there.
“If you play here, go ahead, then you will not play anywhere with such an attitude to football. He went there completely unprepared. Here is the result. I thought that he would be removed from West Ham in the winter, but he delayed for another six months.”
It is true that the attacking midfielder has impressed in Italy, bagging three goals and averaging a SofaScore match rating of 7.03 over his nine Serie A outings. However, should West Ham be able to rid themselves of Vlasic’s hefty weekly wage and pick up a tidy £13m fee in the January transfer window, this would undoubtedly represent a masterclass by the east London club.
Indeed, it is clear to see that the 25-year-old is not a player cut out for Premier League football, with both his attitude and his performances on the pitch during his time in England making it an easy argument that West Ham simply must bin off the midfielder in January.