Noel Whelan tips Nikola Vlasic for successful West Ham career

Former Premier League striker Noel Whelan has tipped new West Ham signing Nikola Vlasic to flourish at the London Stadium. 

© Julian Finney/Getty Images Sport West Ham United v Manchester United – Premier League

The 23-year-old made a full debut on Sunday against Manchester United but struggled to have the desired impact on proceedings. 

Vlasic was replaced after an hour as the Hammers suffered at the hands of former loan star Jesse Lingard late on. 

Speaking to Football Insider, Whelan has backed the Croatian to come good as an Iron. 

“Vlasic needs time. He had one opportunity and nearly got a goal out of it. He is a top-class player, we know that. It is important to take into account that he’s playing against a quality Manchester United side. It was never going to be easy. To come straight into a game against United is a tough ask. He has barely got to know his teammates yet. Everyone expects fireworks to happen straight away like Ronaldo, but he is not Ronaldo. It will take time. Vlasic has shown he is a quality player. West Ham wouldn’t have spent that kind of money on him otherwise. Give him time and he will prove to be a great signing.”

The 29 times capped ace lost possession five times, had one shot off target and was dribbled past on five occasions whilst earning a Sofascore rating of 6.30

Signed for £25million from CSKA Moscow on deadline day (The Guardian), Vlasic had scored 11 times and provided five assists in Russia last season. 

READ WEST HAM VERDICT

A baptism of fire for the Croatian on Sunday. 

There can be no doubt the attacking midfielder struggled to get a foothold in proceedings, something he may get an immediate chance to rectify against the same opposition this week.

David Moyes’ side face a Carabao Cup clash at Old Trafford, with Vlasic surely in contention to feature in order to build up that allusive match sharpness. 

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