West Ham look set to lose World Cup star as he eyes permanent switch to top European division
West Ham attacker Nikola Vlasic has been on loan at Torino since the start of the season and is now likely to make the move permanent, according to a report.
Vlasic is in the form of his career at the moment, performing admirably for Croatia during the World Cup as he helped them to an impressive third-place finish. Torino are reportedly very keen on making the deal a permanent one, with the Italian club’s president describing him as a ‘very strong player.’
Vlasic began his career at his hometown club Hadjux Split, where he was considered one of Croatia’s most promising upcoming talents.
Then, the Croatian joined Everton in 2017 after dazzling while playing for Split against Everton in the Europa League. But he failed to find consistent playing time as Ronald Koeman was sacked shortly after his arrival.
After a good loan spell at CSKA Moscow, he joined the Russian club permanently for £20m.
Vlasic went on to have an incredibly successful two-year stint with CSKA. In 108 appearances for them in total, Vlasic scored 33 goals and made 21 assists, averaging a fantastic 0.5 goal contributions per game.
On the back of his success in Russia, Vlasic joined West Ham on a £25m deal from CSKA Moscow in 2021 but failed to make a big impact.
In 31 appearances, the winger scored just one goal for the Hammers, evidently failing to live up to his hefty price tag.
Vlasic may still achieve sky-high potential at Torino
As a result, the London club opted to send Vlasic out on loan to Torino at the beginning of the current campaign, where he has since found fantastic form.
As a result, it looks increasingly likely that Torino will sign him permanently at the end of the season, according to Football.London.
Vlasic has scored four goals in 16 appearances so far for the Italian club, as well as contributing three assists.
At the World Cup, he was a key player in helping Croatia to earn a third-place finish. He played six games in total, generally coming off the bench as an impact substitute for Zlatko Dalic’s team.
Vlasic failed to find the net, but still put in some good performances and gained some valuable experience in the process.
A former Torino and Croatia striker, Saša Bjelanović, believes Vlasic has already proved to be an excellent loan signing for Torino.
He told Toro News: “I was curious to see how it would go in Italy, but I was also convinced that it would do well.
“I’ve known him since Hajduk Split and I know that he has qualities and characteristics suitable for Italian football and suitable for [Torino head coach] Ivan Juric. I’m happy that he’s proving to be an excellent signing for Torino.”
The Italian club have the option to purchase Vlasic at the end of his loan deal for £12m, a clause which they are almost certain to trigger if he keeps up his current form.
READ MORE: Declan Rice reaffirms commitment to West Ham but still eyes major dream only achievable through transfer