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Nikola Vlasic’s struggles continue as West Ham win

West Ham United recorded another impressive victory in the Europa League on Thursday night as they extended their 100% record in Group H but it wasn’t plain sailing for everybody.

Nikola Vlasic’s struggles in east London continued after he was handed his third start for the Irons since sealing a €30m (£26.7m) move from CSKA Moscow in the summer.

If he’s the man that David Moyes wants to fill the void left behind by last season’s loan sensation Jesse Lingard, then he’ll be concerned with what he’s seen so far.

After an underwhelming debut against Dinamo Zagreb in his native Croatia, the 23-year-old former Everton flop failed to look the part again this week, despite the Irons keeping up their fine form in 2021/22.

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The £27m-rated dynamo was the only West Ham starter to be graded below a 7.0 for his performance against Austrian outfit Rapid Wien at the London Stadium, as per SofaScore. In fact, his 6.5 rating was the second-worst of any of the 15 players to see the pitch for Moyes.

It was a game in which the Croatian playmaker should have asserted his dominance and quality in the final third, but him being withdrawn after just an hour tells you everything you need to know.

Vlasic recorded just 25 touches, which was the lowest of any starter and was fewer than even substitute Jarrod Bowen (28) and goalkeeper Alphonse Areola (28).

By comparison, players like Aaron Cresswell (96) and Declan Rice (65) were heavily involved, and as a no.10, these are the sorts of returns he should be getting.

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Can you name all 10 ex-Hammers? First up... He assisted the first goal at the London Stadium but made only 8 appearances for the Irons, who is he?

The 5 foot 10 dynamo, who reportedly earns around £100k-per-week, also managed only nine accurate passes, which was actually the fewest of any starter involved on either team – and that’s hugely worrying.

Vlasic was weak in his battles, too, managing to win just 40% of his ten duels, whilst he was also dribbled past three times, as per SofaScore.

According to football.london’s Tom Clark, the summer arrival “did not bring a huge amount to the party’, whilst the Evening Standard’s Jack Rosser claimed: ‘Not really happening for him in a West Ham shirt so far. Gets into nice positions but doesn’t do enough once there. Needs time.’

Lingard provided nine goals and five assists in just 16 appearances, via Transfermarkt, so Vlasic has a whole lot of work to do to even match half of these returns.

It was another disappointing outing from a player in whom the Irons have invested nearly £30m, and Moyes must surely be worried by these performances.

AND in other news, Forget Rice: £50k-p/w West Ham beast who had 96 touches was Moyes’ unsung hero vs Wien

Article title: Nikola Vlasic’s struggles continue as West Ham win

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