Nikola Vlasic has revealed he was unable to wear the No 19 jersey when he arrived at Everton because the club were reserving it for Diego Costa.

The then Chelsea striker opted to sign for Atletico Madrid, despite the La Liga club having a transfer ban until January.

Vlasic told 24sata: “No 27 was free, I wanted 8 but Ross Barkley wears it, while the club was keeping 19 for Diego Costa.”

Everton lost their primary striker, Romelu Lukaku, in the summer and their failure to sign a suitable replacement attributed to the recent sacking of manager Ronald Koeman.

Vlasic also expressed his sadness that the Dutchman had been let go.

“I’m sorry that Koeman got sacked, because he bought me and we had a really good relationship, but that’s football,” he added.

Everton is a great club for young players like Jordan Pickford, Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Ademola Lookman, Tom Davies, me. We all get chances; I’m satisfied.”