International coach admits he was ‘surprised’ to see player join Tottenham

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Croatia’s assistant manager Ivica Olic has admitted he was surprised to see Ivan Perisic join Tottenham but he backed the wing-back to shine in the Premier League.

Perisic became Tottenham’s first signing of the summer, with the experienced wide-man arriving on a free transfer after his contract with Inter Milan ran out.

The 33-year-old has evolved into one of the best wing-backs in European football over the past couple of years, and Spurs fans will be hoping that he can produce similar numbers next season after reuniting with Antonio Conte.

According to reports, Conte expects the former Inter star to mentor Ryan Sessegnon and help the England Under-21 international evolve into a top left wing-back (Football.London).

Olic has now declared that Perisic has always been tempted by a move to the Premier League and backed his compatriot to shine at Spurs.

The 42-year-old told Perform (22/06/22 via The Evening Standard): “Honestly, I was a little surprised that he went to England. He had a great season at Inter and I expected him to stay.

“Ivan has played in Germany, France and Italy in recent years. But we said that England have always been a weak point for him. It’s clear that he sees the Premier League as a challenge.

“He knows the manager, his technical staff and his game system. I don’t think he will have problems adapting to the new league.”

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Given Perisic’s aggressive style of play and the fact that understands the demands of Conte’s system well, I expect the 33-year-old to settle in seamlessly at Spurs and hit the ground running at the start of the season. Hopefully, competition with the Croat will also push Sessegnon and bring the best out of the 21-year-old.

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