Could these two forgotten men play for us again or has that ship sailed?

Vlasic and Masuaku have impressed whilst out on loan but is their time up in east London?

It’s very easy to forget what players we have out on loan, especially when we went on a shopping spree during summer. Nikola Vlasic and Arthur Masuaku are two players who have gone out on loan for this season with Vlasic playing for Torino FC and Masuaku playing for Besikta.  

After arriving at West Ham, Vlasic seemed to struggle to get the game time he wanted and us fans expected him to get. According to some sources we paid €30 million with add-ons for Vlasic   which would make him the fourth most expensive Croatian player in history.

Before going out on loan to Torino FC, he made 19 appearances and scored one goal for us. He scored his first goal in our 4-1 victory against Watford, and some fans were convinced there was a player in him, however other players were frustrated with how inconsistent he had been.  

I was torn between the two but I think there was passion inside him to win. It’s just a shame he didn’t seem to get in the starting lineup as often as I expected.  His time at Torino has been a whirlwind. He seems to start regularly and is a fan favourite since coming to the club.

He has made 22 appearances and has scored four goals for the Italian club. His first three goals came from his first five league matches.  He also helped his country finish third in the World Cup. It’s been reported since his contribution to the club, Torino are very keen in signing him.

It makes me question, have we missed out here? Should we recall him to increase our current squad depth? The answer would be no because even if we did, Moyes wouldn’t bring him on as a sub or he would wait until the 90th minute to make a change.

Vlasic seems to be absolutely loving the Italian lifestyle and is really showing ambition in the football he plays out there. We should let Vlasic go and be himself out there. He is smashing it and doing really well so why should we be the club that stops him?  

Now I can’t say I have been the biggest fan of Arthur Masuaku since he joined the club. As the famous song goes: ‘he never gives the ball away’ but I changed it to: ‘he always gives the ball away’.  

So when I first found out about Masuaku going out on loan, I was relieved that I don’t have to watch him constantly make the same mistakes over and over again. Masuaku has been at West Ham since 2016 and has made over 100 appearances for the club, scoring   just the one goal.

He joined Besitkas at the start of the season and has made 20 appearances including scoring a goal. I managed to have a few words with West Ham and Besitkas fan Bez to see how he thinks Masuaku is doing out in the Turkish league.

‘He has been a regular starter for the club and is heavily relied upon for his defensive and attacking skills,’ he told me. ‘He has been keen to play for the club and really represents what the club stands for which is giving your all for the club.’

But does Bez see him completing a full move to Besitkas? ‘Yes, I know contracts with loans are very complicated these days but we’ve had a right touch with his. He has so far made 20 appearances and if he makes five more, which he most definitely will, the option to buy clause of €2.2 million in his contract will be triggered. This would be a great deal for all parties as he won’t play many minutes for West Ham if he was to return but it’s a right bargain for Besitkas as he is vital to our starting lineup.’

The big question mark above both players’ heads is do we think they will ever play in claret and blue again? My honest answer would be no. I think Vlasic is really enjoying his time in the Italian league and Masuaku seems to be impressing and is in the starting 11 every week.  

I would’ve loved to see Vlasic at West Ham after his loan spell but it’s looking unlikely. Masuaku on the other hand, I think the time has come to go separate ways. 

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