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Nikola Vlasic bites back over lack of West Ham game time as big chance looms in Vienna
Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images

Nikola Vlasic bites back over lack of West Ham game time as big chance looms in Vienna

Nikola Vlasic bites back over lack of West Ham game time after another inauspicious cameo as £33m man’s big chance looms in Vienna.

Not all players take to the Premier League like a duck to water.

Some need time to settle and grow into the frenetic pace and power of the best league in world football.

Others are simply not suited to the English game.

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David Moyes and West Ham fans will be hoping the former is true for summer signing Vlasic, who arrived in a big money deal worth as much as £33m.

That is a sizeable investment for a club like West Ham. Moyes admitted he signed Vlasic after being told Jesse Lingard was not available.

But the Croatian – who it must be remembered is still only 23 – has barely had a look in after some underwhelming cameos so far.

Photo by Wolverhampton Wanderers FC Wolves via Getty Images

There were and are high hopes and expectations for Vlasic at West Ham following his deadline day signing from CSKA Moscow.

But there are also some lingering question marks. And his inauspicious spell at Everton as a teenager will linger in people’s minds until he starts producing the goods for the Hammers.

There have been enough flashes to suggest Vlasic could be an important player for West Ham when he gets up to speed.

Photo by Julian Finney Getty Images

He looked good in brief substitute appearances against Southampton and Leeds. And he played well in the Carabao Cup win over Man City.

He is very neat and tidy and is trying to work hard for the team.

But he seems a yard off the pace so far and did little to impress when he was brought on to try and change the game in defeat at Wolves on Saturday.

While most West Ham fans trust Moyes’s judgement and can see the player needs time to adjust and settle in, many supporters are calling for Vlasic to show more.

Photo by Goran Stanzl Pixsell MB Media Getty Images

Nikola Vlasic bites back over lack of West Ham game time as big chance looms in Vienna

Now the player himself as bitten back at suggestions he isn’t living up to expectations by pointing out it would be illogical for him to have played more given West Ham’s form (whufc.com).

“This is our 12th game of the season in the Premier League, so there is a long way to go, but we know our quality and people are starting to recognise how good West Ham are, so we just need to bounce back like I said,” Vlasic told whufc.com.

“The team won four straight Premier League games and when you are winning you don’t change the team – that’s football.

Photo by Julian Finney Getty Images

“We have a very good squad of quality players. It’s the same for every other team in the league, so we need to continue to work hard and be better.”

Well Vlasic’s big chance looms large this week as West Ham travel to Vienna looking for the win which will seal their place in the last 16 of the Europa League and effectively earn the Hammers a four-month break from European competition.

With another away match at Man City on Sunday, Vlasic will almost certainly start against Rapid Wien.

West Ham beat the Austrian side 2-0 in the reverse fixture. And West Ham fans will be looking for signs that Vlasic can contribute to their season.

The stage is set for the playmaker to really make his mark. If he plays well it could give him more confidence and have a knock-on effect for his performances in the Premier League too.

More West Ham news:

Moyes narrows striker search from seven to three after Antonio wake-up call.

Moyes wants Kretinsky money to improve West Ham training ground.

West Ham in top four no matter what happens vs Man City and KDB out.