Tottenham Hotspur

Tottenham Hotspur

Premier League • England

Tottenham masterstroke signing has left former side in disarray, as ex-chairman suggests mistake has been made

Tottenham stars Ivan Perisic and Richarlison

Tottenham’s savvy Ivan Perisic pick-up is quickly looking like yet another Fabio Paratici masterstroke after claims from Italy suggested he’s a factor behind Inter Milan’s surprise downfall.

The Paratici-Antonio Conte connection has served Tottenham extremely well thus far. The Italian pair have made plundering Serie A in the transfer market a clear priority.

The likes of Cristian Romero, Ivan Perisic, Rodrigo Bentancur and Dejan Kulusevski have all been signed from Italian sides. What’s more, all have been roaring successes.

Perisic was the last of that quartet to arrive upon joining as a free agent from Inter Milan.

At 33, the Croatian’s signing raised eyebrows at the time, especially as the Premier League holds a reputation as a far faster league than Serie A.

However, after taking a few weeks to bed in, Perisic has quickly established himself as a regular starter and is having a tangible effect at both ends of the pitch.

He’s started six of Spurs’ last seven in all competitions and his assist count after just nine appearances already stands at four. The bulk of those assists have come from corners where his deadly delivery has been utilised to its fullest potential.

Perisic plays predominantly at left wing-back, though could be deployed further forward if the situation required.

He also displayed his versatility last time out against Leicester, shifting over to right wing-back in the 6-2 hammering.

Now, via Football Italia, ex-Inter Milan owner and chairman, Massimo Moratti, has suggested Inter made a mistake letting Perisic go.

“Perhaps [Perisic] departure was underestimated”

Inter began the season as favourites to win Serie A, though they’ve limped out of the gate thus far. Their surprise 3-1 defeat to Udinese on Sunday was their third loss in just seven league matches.

“We all like to pretend to forget that Perisic was a fantastic player and he gave a very big helping hand to the defence too,” said Moratti.

“Perhaps his departure was underestimated, it was a very big and notable change to the team.”

Tottenham and Conte are the benefactors of Inter’s short-sightedness. What’s more, having such an accomplished left wing-back on the books already looks like it’s having a positive effect on Ryan Sessegnon who has started the season brightly.

What can Tottenham achieve this season?

Spurs currently sit third and are one of just two Premier League teams to remain unbeaten.

Man City are the other, but both north London clubs are flying high and few would be surprised to see both Tottenham and Arsenal finish inside the top four.

Both bought extremely well in the summer and have managers who are taking their clubs in the right direction.

Man City remain heavy favourites to win the title. However, Liverpool’s slump has ensured second through to fourth are up for grabs.

Chelsea have already chopped and changed their manager. Man Utd are the dark horse having overcome a dismal start to win four on the spin under Ten Hag.

Below the usual top six, there doesn’t appear to be a readymade challenger from the mid-pack. Leicester finished fifth two years in a row prior to last season. However, their race looks run and still win-less after seven, Brendan Rodgers is under mounting pressure.

West Ham – who finished seventh last season – are currently in the relegation zone.

As such, the very least Tottenham should expect this season is Champions League qualification.

Given the extra depth Conte now has at his disposal, few would bet against an appearance at Wembley in either the EFL or FA Cup too.