(During the next 30 days, starting May 10th, CroatianSports will be giving “season grades” to 30 of Croatia’s most important football players: Starting XI, bench, fringe, prospects. Grades will be given on preseason expectations vs. actual season performance; not stats.)
Day 14: Nikola Vlašić
Season Grade: C+
National Team: D+
Ran the ball up field against Brazil before passing off to Oršić for the Petković equalizer in extra time.
A fantastic winner from 22 yards out to beat Verona 1-0
Team Next Season:
- Vlašić went on loan at Torino this season from West Ham and made the best of it. He scored five goals and assisted six times in 33 appearances for Torino, who will finish top half of the table in Serie A (7th-9th).
- Vlašić has made it clear in 2023 that he would like to remain in Italy at Torino on a permanent deal (Chances: 90%)
- West Ham brings him back to London (10%)
What the Future Holds:
Vlašić is only 25 years old and had the resurgent season he needed in Italy after warming the bench in London (West Ham) last year. He has 11 total goal contributions in 33 appearances having to sit out four consecutive matches in February/March due to a hamstring injury. This is the season Vlašić was looking for as he played ample minutes (2,639) and started regularly for Torino under Croatian coach Ivan Jurić. Vlašić has yet to solidify himself in the Croatian starting XI as a RW or CAM though. He only played 205 minutes at the World Cup in seven of Croatia’s matches; starting once. Vlašić is still relatively young at 25 and could have 5-7 great years for Croatia if he has another healthy year in Italy under his belt. He can easily score 10+ goals next season with the right cast around him.