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Football London
Football London
Rob Guest

Antonio Conte has a new Tottenham undroppable to add to his core squad after only nine games

Having splashed out huge money on the likes of Richarlison and Yves Bissouma ahead of the new season, the addition of a certain player on a free transfer could prove to be Tottenham's signing of the summer. With his contract at Inter Milan coming to an end, Antonio Conte and Fabio Paratici made their move to lure Ivan Perisic to north London.

A deal that some questioned due to the fact he turns 34 in February, the decision to sign the Croat on a two-year contract has proved to be a masterstroke so far. Perisic has already made quite a name for himself at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium and there is certainly more to come from him over the course of this campaign.

Not featuring on the club's pre-season tour of South Korea as he tried to work his way back to fitness from the calf injury he sustained in his final Inter Milan appearance, Perisic initially had to make do with a place on the bench for Tottenham's first two Premier League games. However, he contributed in a massive way in the second of those matches as his stoppage-time corner was converted by Harry Kane to salvage a point against Chelsea.

READ MORE: Romero Argentina absence, Richarlison goals and Gil assist - Tottenham international roundup

Adding another assist to his name six days later on his first start for Tottenham in their 1-0 win over Wolves, Perisic has been a regular starter since then apart from when he was given a breather against Fulham. In that time he has contributed with a further two assists, taking his total to four from his first nine games in all competitions.

His right-footed cross from the left for Richarlison's first goal against Marseille could in fact turn out to be a key moment in Tottenham's Champions League journey this term, as prior to that they had barely threatened their goal until that moment of magic from him. Last Saturday he showed his quality once again with another assist for Eric Dier's brilliant header in the 6-2 win over Leicester City.

Spurs looked a threat from every set piece Perisic was standing over, with the player showing his quality by using both feet to whip in inviting deliveries for his Tottenham teammates. Perisic has given Spurs such a devastating weapon with his set-piece mastery and it could prove invaluable come the end of the season.

Even when Perisic was not in the starting XI against Southampton on the opening day he contributed with some words of advice that resulted in Ryan Sessegnon finding the net at the back post. The Croat's arrival has pushed his teammate on to greater heights as a result, something Conte made clear in his post-match press conference.

"I think it’s very important that we signed a player like Ivan Perisic because he (Sessegnon) can see the way to learn something about Ivan. We are talking about a very important player in Ivan, a top player," said the 53-year-old.

"Sometimes it’s good to bring into your team players even if they are a bit over-age. If they are a good player with experience, they can bring this experience to improve young players in your squad. I think Sessegnon is doing this. I was really pleased because today he played a good game."

Already having a core group of undroppables at Tottenham, which include players such as Hugo Lloris, Dier, Cristian Romero, Rodrigo Bentancur, Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, Son Heung-min and Kane, Perisic's performances so far have highlighted why he is a must for Conte in his Spurs side. Given what he offers Tottenham in terms of his experience, quality and set-piece delivery, the new signing is already appearing to be an undroppable for his head coach nine games into his Tottenham career.


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