Ivan Perisic, when his official signing is announced next week, will represent Tottenham’s best free-transfer signing since the turn of the millennium.
Perisic’s impending signing would have been thought of as a win even if Spurs had to pay tens of millions. But to get him on a free should be seen as one of the most important Tottenham signings in 20 years.
He is arguably the best free transfer Spurs have landed since 2000. Only Edgar Davids and Teddy Sheringham, both of whom signed on a free, measure up to the imminent Perisic deal.
Perisic comes loaded with experience and a winning pedigree. He has won the Bundesliga twice, the Scudetto once and was a World Cup runner up with Croatia in 2018. He has also won countless other domestic cups during his illustrious career.
Perisic is exactly the type of player required to strengthen Tottenham on numerous fronts. He has a wicked left foot, can confidently slide into the left wingback role or play on the left wing in a more attacking area. He can also play down the middle in a pinch.
The 33-year-old is also a leader, both in the locker room and on the pitch. He has more Champions League experience than most of the entire Spurs’ roster combined. The Croatian international will also make a perfect role model and mentor for the likes of Ryan Sessegnon, who can learn a great deal from the wily veteran.
As if those attributes aren’t enough, Perisic is perfectly equipped for a seamless transition into one of the most difficult leagues to assimilate. He is rugged, isn’t afraid to get physical, has deceptive power and, contrary to what many people on Twitter think, is not laboured or slow in his movement. He also has a tireless work rate, a prerequisite of any Conte signing.
He immediately and considerably improves the team, injecting more depth while providing another attacking dimension for a Spurs team whose offensive output was entirely too reliant on three players, Harry Kane, Son Heung-min and Dejan Kulusevski.
And it’s only going to cost Tottenham a reported £98 thousand per week.
All of those factors contribute to making Perisic Tottenham’s best free transfer of the last 22 years or so.
Once the signing is confirmed, it will mark a monumental moment in Spurs’ history. Free transfers like this, as the last few decades suggests, don’t come around very often.