It’s been quite an eventful campaign for Spurs this year. From Nuno Espírito Santo’s short tenure to the rollercoaster ride under Antonio Conte. The North London side have managed to prove the doubters wrong (including the man in charge) and finish in the Champions League places for the 22/23 season.
While many will rightfully applaud the team for how they ended the season, the hardwork from the hierarchy has only just begun. ENIC’s investment of £150m created excitement amongst the fanbase and the arrival of Inter Milan’s Ivan Perisic is sure to do the same.
According to football.london the 33-year-old signed a deal worth €6million (£5.1m) a year, which works out at £98,000 a week.
Perisic and Conte have quite the history with one-another, winning the Serie A title with Inter Milan a year ago, so there should be no surprise that the Croatian was a priority for the Italian coach.
The signing of Perisic signals a change in policy for Spurs, as the 33-year-old joins the club with minimal resale value, a trait that is almost unheard of under Daniel Levy’s reign. However, what the Croatian brings to the club is leadership and a winning mentality, having racked up a tremendous number of accolades including two Bundesliga titles, three DFB Pokal’s, DFL Supercup, Serie A title, Coppa Italia, Supercoppa Italia and a UEFA Champions League.
English fans especially may remember Perisic for his breathtaking performance in the 2018 World Cup, scoring against England in the semi-final of the competition. Before netting another in the final against France, although Croatia would be on the losing end of that fixture.
Viewed as a wing-back by many, Perisic is able to play in a multitude of different positions such as left midfield, attacking midfielder, shadow striker and is comfortable enough with both feet to be played on the right if needed too.
It wasn’t always smooth sailing between Perisic and his soon-to-be manager, Antonio Conte. The Italian would originally struggle to find a position for Perisic in his system at Inter. “He can’t play in the role that I want at Inter,” said Conte.
The lack of fit would lead to Perisic being sent to German giants, Bayern Munich for the 19/20 campaign. A spell in Germany would see the out-of-favour Inter man register 8 goals and 10 assists in 35 games – including goals against Chelsea, Barcelona and an assist in the DFB Pokal final against Bayer Leverkusen.
Although Perisic had performed to a respectable level at the Allianz Arena, it wasn’t enough for Bayern to take up the option to buy him from Inter, once again leaving the player’s future up in the air.
Luckily enough for Perisic, the tide had turned under Antonio Conte as the self-proclaimed ‘serial winner’ was able to find a role for him in his system. A position that would re-shape the career of the Croatia star – left wing-back.
Perisic would register 5 goals and 5 assists in his first season in his new role, helping lead Inter to their first league title in eleven years.
Despite Conte stepping down from his role at the end of the season, the arrival of Simone Inzaghi would coincide with an elevated level of performance from the Inter veteran. Perisic registered 10 goals and 9 assists in 49 games across all competitions – scoring twice in the 4-2 Coppa Italia final victory against Juventus.
Inter would end the season having qualified for the round of 16 stage of the Champions League for the first time since the 2011/12 season, winning the Coppa Italia and the Supercoppa Italia. Taking Perisic’s trophy tally with the club to three before deciding to close the door on a wonderful chapter in his illustrious career.
Having garnered interest from the likes of Chelsea and Juventus, you would be forgiven for thinking that the Croatian star would be suiting up in a different colour next season. However, Tottenham’s rise under Conte has created an interesting proposition for many of the world’s best footballers.
“It’s a privilege to work again with a coach like this, we did well at Inter, won the league after 10 or 11 years, it was a perfect year. I’m really happy to see him again. I think we’re going to do some good things here in England.
“He’s living football, every minute, every hour every day, even when he’s sleeping, he’s thinking about football! He’s so passionate. He wants to win. I like this character and I know we’re going to do a great job here.”
“I was watching [the last few games] after the victory against Arsenal, it was obvious that Tottenham would be in the Champions League,” said Perisic.
With the departure of Sergio Reguilon looming, Spurs will be hoping that Perisic can mentor Ryan Sessegnon into becoming his eventual successor. The England U21 international has seen his Tottenham career resurrected under Conte, having spent last season on loan at Bundesliga side Hoffenheim.
Being able to secure a deal for Perisic before the transfer window officially opens will go a long way in trying to match the ambition of Antonio Conte, who has reportedly requested a minimum of six signings this summer.
Spurs will be expecting Perisic to continue his form into next season’s campaign, in an attempt to bring some long overdue silverware back to the club.