Tottenham have got their first summer signing already in the bag! Today, the club announced the signing of Croatian international Ivan Perisic. He will join the club on July 1 as a free agent signing after departing Inter Milan. He is joining on a two-year contract.
There’s some confusion on Perisic’s wages. Initial reporting suggested that his salary would be £98k/wk, a number that seems pretty shockingly low for a player of his experience and caliber, and well within Tottenham’s wage structure. However, Mike McGrath in the Telegraph suggested Perisic’s wages would be £180k/wk, which feels more likely.
It’s not clear whether the disparity is due to initial reports out of Italy reporting Perisic’s wages as a net salary (i.e. post-tax), and the higher number is the gross wages, as England usually reports it. Another possibility is that the £180k includes a signing fee or bonuses that could increase his wages that high if benchmarks are reached. Ultimately, it doesn’t really matter — Spurs can afford it.
Perisic, 33, has seemingly been linked with a move to Tottenham Hotspur for as long as I’ve been a Spurs fan. That’s not quite true, but it feels like it. Perisic is an old dude, but he’s been rotated very well over his career and doesn’t actually have that many miles on the tires. He’s not a long-term solution, but he’s a definite upgrade on Sergio Reguilon and (for now) Ryan Sessegnon. He’s one of the most experienced players currently available and coming off of a monster season at Inter Milan. He also was a key part of Antonio Conte’s scudetto winning side from two seasons ago.
Perisic has played multiple positions over the course of his career, but was used primarily as a left wing back at Milan last season, and that’s almost certainly where Conte sees him, although he could also be deployed higher at times as a rotation option for Son Heung-Min. He’s two-footed, loves to take shots, and can pop up virtually anywhere in the attacking third. He’s an almost ideal mentor for Sessegnon, who now will not have the stress or the burden of having to fill that starting role full-time. There’s also a TON that Sess can learn from a player like Perisic over the next two seasons.
I see very little downside to this signing. There’s maybe a chance that the wheels fall off or he has difficulty adapting to the pace of the Premier League, but honestly, that’s a risk that’s worth taking for a player of his caliber, even towards the end of his career. Perisic is a player who can do exactly what Conte wants from that position, is positionally flexible, and improves the team.
This is an exciting signing. Welcome to Tottenham, Ivan Perisic!