Nikola Vlasic’s time at Everton so far has been characterised by frustration, for both the player and the fans.
The young Croatian was not handed a real chance to impress last season, being used mainly from the bench as he racked up 19 appearances in all competitions.
New boss Marco Silva made a quick decision that Vlasic was not to be part of his plans this season, and the 21-year-old was eventually loaned out to CSKA Moscow.
Vlasic has been quick in proving Silva wrong this season, with the attacking midfielder notching up three goals and two assists in nine games so far, including a famous winner against Real Madrid in the Champions League.
And, according to Liverpool Echo journalist Phil Kirkbride [11:11], Vlasic is becoming increasingly convinced that his long-term future does not lie at Goodison Park.
And, in all honesty, it is hard to blame him.
His talent has shone through on multiple occasions since his arrival in the summer of 2017, but no one has taken notice, and Silva’s quick decision to loan him out will have disheartened him greatly.
His form so far at CSKA will have convinced him that he is better off elsewhere, at a club where his talents are fully appreciated.
Losing him on this kind of form would be a big blow for the Toffees however, especially if it continues throughout the season, and Silva must now swallow his pride to convince Vlasic that he has a future on Merseyside.
This is a player who could go on to big things, with Vlasic being just 21 years old, and Everton could seriously regret letting him go if he does fulfil his potential.
Silva must now recognise this and do all it takes to keep Vlasic around for at least one more season when he returns to Goodison in the summer.
A quality season in the Premier League will surely be enough to convince Vlasic to stay, and negate the possibility of a regretful exit for the club.