Everton’s Europa League qualifying tie against Croatian side Hajduk Split proved productive for more than one reason as, alongside reaching the group stages, they managed to scout a new addition.
The Toffees’ official website has announced the deadline day signing of highly-rated Croatian Nikola Vlasic, with the 19-year-old arriving at Goodison Park on a five-year deal for a fee believed to be £10 million.
Speaking to Everton TV about his switch to Merseyside, the Croatian teenager said:
“I cannot describe how excited I am. I have been smiling all day! I just cannot wait to meet all my new teammates and everyone at the Club. I am so excited. The Premier League is the best league in the world and this is a top-five club in England.
“It is such a big honour for me to be here. When I heard that Everton were interested in me, I just knew “I wanted to come here straight away. I only saw Everton, then. Whenever someone called my manager or my father, I told them I only wanted to come to Everton.”
The 19-year-old has spent the past three seasons at Hajduk Split since breaking through their academy system – making 120 appearances across all competitions and scoring 13 times – and he earnt his first call-up to the Croatian national side at the end of May, starting in a 2-1 victory over Mexico in a friendly.
And Everton took to social media to announced their ninth signing of the summer…
?? | Time to get involved in deadline day… pic.twitter.com/h2rBapB4pg
— Everton (@Everton) August 31, 2017
With most Everton fans pleased at seeing a new arrival on deadline day…
Another talented youngster on board. Welcome to Everton Vlasic!
— Matt (@mbt2108) August 31, 2017
Vlasic potentially a great signing for #Everton. Has all the attributes to make it in the Prem – quick, strong, skilful and an eye for goal
— Luke Matthews (@___Matthews___) August 31, 2017
Quite confident that Vlasic will turn out to be a signing that got a bizarrely muted reaction in hindsight. Really exciting move
— Alex Jennings (@EvertonOpinion) August 31, 2017
Seeing the potential in the 19-year-old after his displays the other week…
The replies to the official Vlasic announcement ? happened with Stones and Calvert-Lewin too. Sure he'll shine. Very highly-rated. #EFC
— Ell Bretland (@EllBretland) August 31, 2017
Obviously impressed a lot when he played against Everton. Good luck to Nikola Vlasic, hope he proves to be a success. https://t.co/63k222Djtx
— Daniel Korolev (@Velorok97) August 31, 2017
Others were less convinced…
Welcome on board Nicola Vlasic!
Can't say we know much – don't recall him standing out much for… https://t.co/eHEPUoo9Xc
— NotBitterJustBetter (@JustBetterEfc) August 31, 2017
And it became clear Vlasic wasn’t the marquee signing of a striker a lot had been hoping for…
The Everton twitter account has called Nikola Vlasic a forward pic.twitter.com/zCPrnG6syH
— Simon J Villiers (@sjv_simon) August 31, 2017
@JimWhite has disappointed every Evertonian on the planet tonight. Nikola Vlasic is not a "big announcement" …. WE NEED A TOP STRIKER !!!
— Simon Tyrrell (@simonjt321) August 31, 2017
Is that us done now ??? Vlasic a lame excuse for a striker
— Dylan Inglesby (@Dylan_Ingo7) August 31, 2017
— Josh.L.Clifton (@JLCliftn) August 31, 2017
And time is now ticking for Ronald Koeman to finalise a deal for anyone else…
No one is coming. They said Vlasic was a forward. ???
— Dan Hollingworth (@danholling) August 31, 2017
But let’s just all be grateful that Danny Rose isn’t an Everton player…
I'm writing him off here and now. What even rhymes with Vlasic?? https://t.co/RwJlGzYw1D
— Rob Hillock (@Hilloquis) August 31, 2017
What do you think Everton fans? Will Vlasic thrive at Goodison? Let us know.