To cover that hypothetical, this article grades Vrsaljko's display against Mexico at the 2014 FIFA World Cup and provides a scouting report on his season with Genoa.
Vrsaljko vs. Mexico Grade: F
Vrsaljko had an abysmal game at left-back during Croatia's 3-1 defeat to Mexico.
Not only did Vrsaljko give away possession 33 percent of the time he attempted a pass, per FIFA.com, he did not involve himself in Croatia's attacking play.
Vrsaljko was replaced by central midfielder Mateo Kovacic meaning Danijel Pranjic, who had started in midfield, was moved to left-back in the second half.
|Danijel Pranjic||Sime Vrsaljko|
The only consolation for Vrsaljko is Pranjic was just as awful at left-back.
Terrible balance, too many weak spots. Pranjic as a LB terrible, Pletikosa very poor.— Aleksandar Holiga (@AlexHoliga) June 23, 2014
Vrsaljko Genoa Positives
Vrsaljko is versatile having played in defence and midfield on either flank for Genoa.
Vrsaljko enhances Genoa's wide play with surging runs from the flanks.
Vrsaljko latched on to Genoa centre-forward Alberto Gilardino's backheel and drew a penalty from AC Milan left-back Urby Emanuelson.
Vrsaljko won a cheap penalty after his shirt was tugged by Sassuolo central midfielder Francesco Magnanelli.
While Vrsaljko did not score a goal in Serie A last season, he flashed ability with a long-range shot against Torino, which crashed on to the post.
Vrsaljko Genoa Negatives
Vrsaljko's 43 tackle success percentage, per Squawka.com, is below average.
Vrsaljko needs to work on being more secure at the back.
Miscommunication in the Genoa back line led to Vrsaljko failing to close down Emanuelson, whose cross created a scoring chance for Milan substitute Valter Birsa.
Vrsaljko was not in position to contest Juventus left wing-back Kwadwo Asamoah's cross.
Sassuolo substitute Nicola Sansone got in front of Vrsaljko to score.
While Vrsaljko is an elite prospect, he is rough around the edges.
- Unproductive in the attacking half: No goals, one assist in 22 Serie A games.
- Below average ball-winning: 1.9 tackles and 1.6 interceptions per game.
Statistics via WhoScored.com