David Moyes, the Hammers boss, has spoken of his desire to sign Jesse Lingard from Manchester United if he becomes available this summer. Lingard, 28, lit up the London Stadium after joining on loan from the Red Devils for the second half of last season, producing nine goals and registering four assists in the 16 games played. The England international was a driving force behind the east Londoners’ Europa League qualification.
However, there’s a feeling Lingard will remain at Old Trafford this season, compelling David Moyes’ side to look for alternatives. According to Sky Sports, West Ham have opened talks with CSKA Moscow over the signing of Nikola Vlasic before the transfer window slams shut.
Nikola Vlasic, 23, has performed very well since arriving at CSKA Moscow in 2018 following a forgettable spell with Everton, where he only made 12 appearances during the 2017/18 campaign. It prompted the Merseyside outfit to farm the Croat out on loan to CSKA Moscow in 2018—a move that has worked brilliantly for both player and club, leading the Russian giants to sign the attacker permanently in 2019.
The 23-year-old has registered 33 goals and 21 assists in 108 appearances in his three-year spell so far with CSKA Moscow. The Moscow-based club have had a poor start to the new season, with Vlasic supplying an assist in five games.
Nikola Vlasic to West Ham—A smart option for Moyes?
West Ham have enjoyed a flying start to the new Premier League season, winning two out of two and scoring eight goals in the process. Some of their attacking play involving the likes of Pablo Fornals, Said Benrahma, Jarrod Bowen and Michail Antonio has been thrilling to watch for supporters as well as neutrals.
Nevertheless, with the Hammers set to compete in Europe this term, David Moyes certainly needs a bigger and better squad than last season. Moyes clearly wants to reinforce his attacking options and has set his sights on signing Nikola Vlasic.
An attacking midfielder by trade, Nikola Vlasic is equally comfortable playing on either wing and stamping his authority on the game. The Croatian international is technically good on the ball, can carve open opposition defences with his vision and incisive passing and is a goal threat, as demonstrated by his numbers at CSKA Moscow.
While he is a natural creator, playing under David Moyes would also enable the 23-year-old to work on the defensive side of his game. That all points towards Nikola Vlasic adding a lot of value to the West Ham side, whilst bringing competition within the squad.
The ex-Hajduk Split man does perform a similar role to Lingard, and having improved his game considerably in recent years, he deserves another shot at Premier League football.