Uncharacteristically, Tottenham announced their first signing of the summer before the window officially opened, confirming Ivan Perisic’s arrival following his contract expiring with Inter Milan.
After much speculation, the Perisic’s announcement was a welcome sight for fans, as he represents the perfect first step in a hopefully busy summer window.
It’s no secret that Antonio Conte being in the dugout affords Spurs more pulling power than under previous managers, with Perisic typifying this, an unlikely signing if the Italian wasn’t in charge.
Nevertheless, Conte is at Tottenham, and subsequently his gravitas and “pull-power” are bi-products of his tenure at the club, something we fans must enjoy while it lasts.
Signing Perisic free of charge is a massive statement for Tottenham, as he likely had other offers on the table but opted for the Lilywhites. This shows Spurs are indeed an attractive prospect for top players, instilling confidence for the remainder of the summer.
It’s rumoured Perisic had interest from Chelsea; whether it was the lure of Conte, the project at Tottenham, or a blend of both, he ultimately favoured a move to N17.
Throughout his career, the Croatian has won league titles and domestic cups in Germany and Italy, as well as lifting the Champions League and boasting several individual accolades.
Internationally, he has played a key role in Croatia’s recent ventures, appearing 113 times for his country and featuring heavily in their run to the 2018 World Cup final.
His trophy-laden career sees him arrive in fine pedigree and with the winning mentality Conte is trying to create at N17 within our current roster of players.
At 33, questions of age have been raised, however, off the back of enjoying one of the best campaigns of his career, Perisic looks as though he can offer an instant impact.
Last season at left wingback he created 26 chances, the most of any wingback in Europe’s top five leagues and bested overall by just Vinicius Junior, Allan Saint-Maximin, and Martin Odegaard.
His chance creation also led to output, as in 35 league appearances Perisic produced eight goals and seven assists, a significant improvement on any of our current wingbacks.
In Conte and Perisic’s shared time at Milan, the Croatian was a mainstay in the side at wingback, however, one of his strengths lies in versatility as he is adept at playing several positions across either flank.
In competing on four fronts; Premier League, Champions League, FA Cup, and Carabao Cup, Tottenham surely have a long season ahead, so recruiting a player such as Perisic, who is comfortable in playing multiple positions, could prove crucial.
In reality, there is no downside to this deal. If, having only offered the Croatian a two-year deal on a reported £98,000 per week, Perisic isn’t suited to the Premier League, an unlikely outcome, Tottenham aren’t tied into a long-term, expensive contract.
Having said that, Perisic’s arrival is truly exciting, as he represents the cream of the crop when it comes to Conte-style wingbacks.
If his arrival is anything to go by, Tottenham fans must be optimistic for what lies ahead. With one world-class addition through the door without denting the £150 million war chest, expectations this summer are higher than they’ve ever been.