Gianluca Di Marzio (@DiMarzio) is reporting that Ivan Perisic will return to Croatia, where he will play for HNK Hajduk Split, thereby terminating his Tottenham contract.
It’s unsurprising news that most expected, if confirmed.
However, Fabrizio Romano is reporting that no decision has been made, contradicting Di Marzio’s assertion:
Perisic was signed at Antonio Conte’s behest before the 2022-23 season. The Croatian thrived under Conte at Inter Milan and was expected to flourish as Tottenham’s left wingback.
While Perisic has enjoyed stints of excellence, he, like most of his teammates, underperformed in 2022-23. He still managed eight assists, equaling Bruno Fernandes, Christian Eriksen, Erling Haaland, and Andrew Robertson, to name a few.
Despite that decent return, it felt like the writing was on the wall once Conte’s departure was confirmed. His future became even more apparent when Ange Postecoglou took the helm as the club’s new gaffer.
The Australian probably doesn’t have any room in his side for an aging left back unable to press relentlessly. While Perisic is incredibly fit for his age, he doesn’t seamlessly fit into Ange’s inverted left-back role.
In addition, Perisic’s family is based in Split, where HNK Hajduk is based. If he leaves, the 34-year-old will enjoy a change of pace, returning to the club where it all began.
He was a part of Hajduk’s youth academy for six years before leaving for Sochaux in France. Like most players entering the twilight of their careers, returning home has added appeal.
He can give back to the community and spend quality time with his family while enjoying a slower, more pedestrian pace than north London offers.
Also, he’s adored and lionized in Croatia, so he won’t take any stick from the public, a stark contrast to life at Tottenham.
While his brief tenure at Tottenham hasn’t reached the heights most expected, Perisic deserves a lot of credit for being Spurs’ top assist man. He is also a consummate professional whose distinguished career should be applauded.
The amicable decision, if confirmed, will also allow Tottenham to dump his £178,000 weekly salary, providing more space for an incoming centre-back, hopefully two.
Let’s see where this goes. The rumour of his probable departure makes sense. However, as Romano said, nothing has been confirmed yet.