Tottenham have swooped in to sign Ivan Perisic on a free transfer as Antonio Conte is already being backed in the transfer market this summer.
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Perisic, 33, has signed a two-year contract at Spurs until the summer of 2024 and he is reunited with Conte who he played for at Inter Milan.
The Croatian international spent the last seven years at Inter, winning the Serie A title under Conte in the 2020-21 season.
Speaking about his move to the Premier League, here’s what the former Bayern Munich, Wolfsburg and Borussia Dortmund winger had to say.
Croatian star ready to pass on experience
“It is a privilege to work with a coach like this,” Perisic smiled as he spoke about working with Conte. “We did well in Inter, we won the league after 10 or 11 years, it was a really perfect year and I’m really happy to see him again. He lives football. Every minute, every hour, every day, when he’s sleeping he’s thinking about football. I like his character and I know we are going to do a great job here.
“I’m going to bring a lot of hard work, I like to work a lot and I like to work for the team because only like this you can win something important. I can play several positions in the system Tottenham is playing now. I will bring a lot of experience because I used to play for a lot of great clubs and I can’t wait to start to play and train and do my best.”
Perisic added: “It was always my dream to play in all of the best five leagues in the world and the Premier League was the missing piece of the puzzle… My hope is that it is going to be perfect.”
Fine goal from Ivan Perisic to put Croatia level v France in the #WorldCupFinal
He's been superb in this #WorldCup | #FRA 1-1 #CRO #FRACROpic.twitter.com/YYxnzq0N99
— Joe Prince-Wright (@JPW_NBCSports) July 15, 2018
Where will Perisic fit in?
He will primarily play on the left and he can play as a left wing-back in this Conte system. He will battle with Ryan Sessegnon for that starting spot.
But he can also play at right wing-back and in more advanced roles on either side as he will give Conte more depth when it comes to resting Heung-min Son, Harry Kane and Dejan Kulusevski in attack for certain games.
More than where he will fit in positionally, Perisic will bring character and experience which should rub off on the rest of this Tottenham team.
He was won big trophies at Dortmund, Wolfsburg, Inter and Bayern as well as scoring in a World Cup final for Croatia in 2018 and consistently delivers excellent performances from wide areas. He works so hard up and down the flank and is a perfect fit for a Conte 3-4-3 system.
This transfer proves that Conte is now getting exactly what he wants from Tottenham’s hierarchy and the Italian coach will surely sign a new long-term contract very soon. Perisic, like Conte, is a winner and this signing shows Spurs are ready to spend big money on wages when opportunities like this present themselves.