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“It was obvious”- Tottenham summer signing reveals result of North London derby sped up his move

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Ivan Perisic reveals win over Arsenal sped up his Tottenham Hotspur transfer

Ivan Perisic signed for Tottenham Hotspur on a free transfer after his contract with Inter Milan was on the verge of expiring.

The Croatia international moved to N17 shortly after the end of the Premier League season. He signed a two-year deal at the club and it is now clear that UEFA Champions League football played a big part in the deal.

Spurs wrapped up a deal for Perisic fairly quickly, which hints at the fact that they had started to lay the seed for a move weeks before the official announcement. Turns out he was watching Spurs’ season closely and a win against Arsenal sped things up for him.

Ivan Perisic in action for Spurs against James Tavernier of Rangers. (Image: @OfficialFPL on Twitter)
Ivan Perisic in action for Spurs against James Tavernier of Rangers. (Image: @OfficialFPL on Twitter)

Spurs dispatched Arsenal 3-0 in the North London derby on May 13 earlier this year. Two goals from Harry Kane and a red card for Rob Holding meant the result was in no doubt after the 37th minute of the game.

From there, it was clear that Antonio Conte’s men were going to cross the finish line as the fourth-best team in England over the course of the season. Speaking in an interview with Sky Sports, Perisic shed light on the impact of that result on his transfer:

“I think our first contact was in March. and the second one was in April when I think they won against Arsenal, and it was obvious that maybe they’re going to reach the Champions League.”

“I always wanted to play in the Champions League and my wish was also to try to come to the Premier League. When they reached the Champions League, we spoke and the deal was done in two days, and it was much easier.”

When the then Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said back in 2012 that a top-four finish was like a ‘trophy’, he received his fair share of criticism and banter from rival fans, including those at Tottenham.

But as evidenced last season, the race for that coveted UCL spot, especially after Manchester City and Liverpool were unscalable at the top, felt like a massive achievement. Playing in the biggest club competition in Europe has its perks.

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As it showed with Perisic, players would then want to play for the club. Hopefully, this was just a small step in Conte’s journey here and he builds on it to deliver silverware at the club.

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