West Ham United progressed to the fourth round of the FA Cup on Sunday afternoon as they beat fellow Premier League outfit Leeds United 2-0 at the London Stadium.
Manuel Lanzini gave the Hammers, who host the Yorkshire club again next Sunday, the lead just after the half-an-hour mark before Jarrod Bowen secured the East London club’s place in the next round in added time.
However, despite Lanzini and Bowen being the players on the score sheet, another attacking midfielder impressed for David Moyes’ side: Nikola Vlasic.
According to SofaScore, the Croatian enjoyed a 91% passing accuracy against Marcelo Bielsa’s side as well as making three key passes.
Furthermore, the 24-year-old completed 80% of his dribbles and only lost possession on seven occasions whilst making 56 touches.
The attacking midfielder has endured mixed fortunes since returning to the Premier League from CSKA Moscow, having been at Everton previously.
Vlasic has only managed nine Premier League appearances this term, starting two games in the top-flight.
However, the Croatian has been of great use in other competitions, with the Hammers new to balancing four competitions, making a combined nine appearances in the Europa League, EFL Cup and FA Cup.
Moreover, the attacking midfielder is starting to find form in East London, scoring his first goal for the Hammers against Watford at the end of December as well as impressing in West Ham’s cup success over the Whites.
With fellow attacking midfielder Said Benrahma set to be absent over the coming weeks whilst with his native Algeria side at the Africa Cup of Nations, Vlasic has the opportunity to impress Moyes and put together a run of games in the top-flight.
Prior to the Leeds game, the Scotsman said to West Ham’s official website: “Niksi [Vlasic] will have opportunities and we’re trying to break him in.
“He’s beginning to show some good signs so let’s hope he can step up when he gets the opportunity. I do see opportunities for him with Saïd away.”
Furthermore, the £25m signing was labelled as “versatile” upon him signing for West Ham in September by former Hammers assistant Nikola Jurcevic and could start to justify that transfer fee in the coming weeks.