How Tottenham could line up with Ivan Perisic after winger snubs Chelsea for Antonio Conte reunion

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 (Tottenham Hotspur FC via Getty I)
(Tottenham Hotspur FC via Getty I)

Ivan Perisic has secured a reunion with Antonio Conte after agreeing a two-year contract to join Tottenham this summer.

The Croatian veteran had been strongly tipped to sign for Spurs when his Inter Milan contract expires at the end of next month, despite rival interest from Chelsea and Juventus.

It is easy to see why the trio of clubs were interested in the industrious 33-year-old given his versatility across both flanks.

Conte’s style was initially a tough sell to Perisic and he was loaned out to Bayern Munich in the Italian’s debut season at Inter, winning the Champions League before returning to lift the Scudetto at the San Siro in 2020/21.

During that campaign, the coach started him 24 times almost exclusively as his left-sided midfielder, which effectively handed him the entire flank to marshall in front of a three-man defence and behind left-sided striker Lautaro Martinez.

Ivan Perisic’s most likely role in the Spurs team (BuildLineup / Standard Sport)
Ivan Perisic’s most likely role in the Spurs team (BuildLineup / Standard Sport)

A further 18 appearances came off the bench and this was often as a more forward-thinking substitute - for example, replacing Matteo Darmian down the left in that year’s Coppa Italia semi-final second leg away to Juventus as Inter chased a late equaliser.

With this in mind, it is no wonder Thomas Tuchel fancied Perisic for Chelsea as an alternative to Ben Chilwell in his own 3-4-3 system, or even as an experienced option up in his front line.

Conte also plays with a three-man attack more often than not at Tottenham, unlike his 3-5-2 days at Inter. This provides more flexibility for Perisic’s arrival as the Croat can drop in up front as well as out wide.

How Antonio Conte could deploy Perisic up top (BuildLineup / Standard Sport)
How Antonio Conte could deploy Perisic up top (BuildLineup / Standard Sport)

While unable to fill in for Harry Kane as the central striker, Perisic can play wide left to shift Heung-min Son to the right and replace Dejan Kulusevski, or play on the left to allow Son to play Kane’s role.

His more prominent role would nonetheless likely be on the left side of midfield, the position currently occupied by Ryan Sessegnon and Sergio Reguilon - and Conte is said to be open to selling the Spaniard.

Naturally, Perisic is a more attacking option that either of those incumbents but has the major European experience they both lack, creating greater flexibility and giving the Spurs boss vital extra options.

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