Antonio Conte has claimed Ivan Perisic is not currently the player he knows as the Croatian continues to work his way back up to full match sharpness. 

Joining Spurs as a free agent earlier in the summer, Perisic has formed one of six signings the club has made to strengthen Conte’s squad ahead of the new campaign. 

But the Croatia international arrived in North London carrying a calf injury from his previous spell with Inter Milan, causing his pre-season preparations to come at a slight delay. 

He made his Spurs debut as a substitute in a friendly against Rangers and was handed a starting role in the final pre-season match with Roma. 

Perisic gave a good account of himself as he clocked up 75 minutes of action in Israel but could not inspire Spurs to end their preparations on a strong note as they were beaten 1-0. 

Conte admitted he is happy to have Perisic back at his disposal but insisted he still has plenty of work to get back to the same levels he showed at Inter. 

He said (via Football.London): “He’s an important player because he’s really good. He moves forward, good in one v ones, and then he can use both feet and he was before a winger which us why he’s good in one v one.

“But he has to continue to work because at this moment he’s not the Ivan Perisic I know. That is normal though, but I’m happy because he reduced the time to recover from his injury.”

Spurs Web Opinion 

You can tell Perisic is still working his way up the fitness ladder and aiming to get back to full match sharpness after the injury he sustained. 

Conte will know Perisic more than anyone at Spurs after their time together at Inter and will understand just how much further he can go in terms of improving. 

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