Nikola Vlasic says next season can be his season at Everton after a difficult debut campaign at Goodison Park.
The Croatian, who has made 11 Premier League appearances this season, was only making his first start since January when he started in the 2-0 win over Huddersfield Town on Saturday.
Vlasic, who was signed from Hajduk Split following the Blues’ Europa League meeting with Split, came in for Yannick Bolaise on the right wing but has operated in a number of different roles when called upon this season.
Speaking to EvertonFC.com after the victory, the 20-year-old said: “I enjoyed it. It was a hard game. In the first half it was so tough but when we scored it gave confidence to the whole team.”
The Croatian had a tough start to the game himself but with his lack of playing time in recent months, that sort of rust was to be expected.
He added: “If you are not in the team, it is up to you to work hard and wait for your chance. Of course, you expect that competition for places.”
The youngster admits that with “so many good players” every player needs to “fight for your position” but that was something he “expected” after joining.
Vlasic also admitted that he knew that fighting for his place “would be hard” but he believes that “better days are coming” in the future.
“Next season will be my season”
Like other summer signings, there have been plenty of calls from fans for Vlasic to get a continued chance in the first-team and that has started to become the case in recent weeks.
He was a late substitute in the draw away at Swansea City and completed 90 minutes at the John Smiths Stadium on Saturday.
Vlasic almost opened his Premier League account early in the second-half on Saturday when he tried to wrap his foot around an effort from just inside the Huddersfield area but saw his effort denied by Jonas Lossl.
With change expected at Goodison Park this summer, Vlasic is pointing to next season as being ‘his season.’
“Of course I can be better but this is my first season here and it was always going to be hard coming into the Premier League,” Vlasic continued.
“But I hope next season will be my season.”