Tuesday December 18 2018
The Perisic problem

The Croatian may not be in the best form of his Inter career, acknowledges Richard Hall, but the Nerazzurri would be mad to sell him.

The World Cup, even now, is hardly a distant memory. That is why the changing mood that surrounds Ivan Perisic is both strange and surprising. One of Inter’s most consistent players in recent years looked more athletic and focused than ever during his country’s exploits in Russia. However, as Christmas approaches in Milan, he may soon be looking for a new challenge. The 29-year-old has been accused of poor performances in the media but is this the case? Are the Milanese about to let a player depart, who can still offer so much in an important season for the Nerazzurri?

This week, Tuttosport were quick to report that Perisic could leave Inter for around €50m. This seemed a strange stance considering the club had fought hard to keep him away from Manchester United in the last two summers. Now the Turin-based paper was reporting that both Bayern Munich and Atletico Madrid are ready to negotiate over the Croat as he apparently not been as dynamic so far this campaign.

While fans may point to his exclusion in the starting eleven for the team’s recent win against Udinese, it is clear that Luciano Spalletti still has faith in him. After all, this term in Serie A, he has made 15 appearances, scoring twice and assisting twice. If he continues at this rate then he may not be far off his 2015/16 tally where he played 34 times, scoring seven and assisting six times. A sign that whilst perhaps he isn’t sparking as in 2016/17 (36 games, 11 goals, six assists) or his 2017/18, (37 games, 11 goals, nine assists) he is still performing well.

One also has to consider that more players this season have been tasked with helping share the goals around and take the burden of Mauro Icardi, in recent years only Perisic has done this with any success. Also, he has come off the back of a World Cup campaign that will have exhausted him as it did many players who reached the latter stages. Perisic is important off the field as well. Interviewing him at Appiano Gentile back in 2015, he even then had a clear idea of what it meant to be part of Inter. He was clear to me about the project and was also knowledgeable about the history of the club and he also referenced that every player should try to achieve the professionalism shown by Javier Zanetti over the years.

The Croatian, since that interview, has grown in physical and mental stature. From day one he admitted he would address the then coach, Roberto Mancini’s instruction to improve his defensive game. He did that, whilst not a complete utilitarian, he does have that “the team comes first” attitude shown by the aforementioned Zanetti. The face he’s industrious and self-sacrificing may be the reason that his 11 goals have not been 20, it may be why he has never reached the heights Davor Suker thought he may, when he once said he thought he would be as good as Arjen Robben.

In that interview Suker gave to Gazzetta Dello Sport some years back he said: He's incredible; he has strength, talent and a knack of scoring. In modern football, players who can make the difference are extremely valuable. He confronts the opponent one-on-one, then beats him. He's got technical quality that gives a tremendous advantage to his team. Perisic can dribble past three players in one motion." He wasn’t wrong.

So, what is the problem with Perisic? Is it that he is jaded and therefore he is putting in numbers at the lower end of his average? Is it that the fan base is frustrated by this and the fact that Spalletti trusts him so much? If the ‘mister’ does trust him, that also says a lot and whilst he maybe being outshone by the direct Keita Balde or the much-improved Matteo Politano this term, perhaps Inter should be careful what they wish for. It is hard to find an argument to say, even if he is not starting, that Perisic will not be an extremely influential player this term. The money maybe attractive but few in the black and blue shirt have worn it with such dignity in recent seasons.

Watch Serie A live in the UK on Premier Sports.

Have your say...
Everyone will dislikes, if not hates, Perisic after you saw Keita played (as "starter").

My group of Interisti friend starts laughing on him and Candreva as "Stats-getting bros." since 2 seasons ago. Because they never fulfill our expectation, just got gol or assist on weak team suddenly when team was not performing great at all.
on the 21st December, 2018 at 9:53am
He peaked at the WC and Spalletti should have managed his appearance better by allowing him more rest (supersub roles when not starting). This simultaneously allow Keita more room to prove himself.

He looks tired & null. The sharp and decisive Perisic in the WC is a distant memory. Hopefully Spalletti have the courage and brain to rest him starting from now (Chievo game) until the end of winter break. Perisic need to recharge and rehabilitate to be himself again in the 2nd half of the season.
on the 20th December, 2018 at 4:34pm
I hate it when someone brings out stats when talking about a player. Yes this season his stats might not be far off his average HOWEVER anyone that has seen Perisic play this season for Inter will conclude that he is FAR LESS dangerous for the opponent's goal than he was in any previous season and that is the real issue. Inter have had games this season with 1 shot on goal. Taking into consideration that we have so much more attacking players this season, that fact a disaster
on the 20th December, 2018 at 3:47pm
"I'm not a "true" Juve fan but so what? People change. I followed Chelsea for years till the cash dried up."

Nothing more needs to be said really
on the 20th December, 2018 at 8:31am
I'm not a "true" Juve fan but so what? People change. I followed Chelsea for years till the cash dried up. Furthermore, NN4, just because Man City had the EPL wrapped up last Xmas and Serie A had the ONLY title race in Europe means nothing. BOTH leagues are garbage - get it? Guardiola getting hammered in the knockouts of the Ch Lge every single year proves that.

I'll admit I was wrong about Mourinho. he's a dinosaur who belongs with Everton/Spurs/Arsenal - where 4th is considered a success.
on the 19th December, 2018 at 11:18pm

You’re another walking contradiction I see. You blamed Spalletti’s refusal to sub him for costing you matches. Then you say nobody is blaming Spalletti. Which is it?

How can you label me a glory hunter you imbecile. If I was a glory hunter I’d support Madrid or Barca or an EPL team or maybe even Young Boys. I’m a Juve supporter and accept they are utter trash except in Serie a (aka Disney land) where there is no competition. It’s boring thrashing inter easily season after season.
on the 19th December, 2018 at 8:03pm
You're not a real Juve fan, and you assumed so many things in what you said about me and ferban. Nobody blamed Spalleti for everything, you are the one who wants to sack him. Keep glory hunting and let's see if you're a "fan" when they stop winning.
on the 19th December, 2018 at 12:51pm
Ferbum and nn4 You think Perisic is the reason inter suck and couldn’t qualify in the CL? Damn it what is wrong with you people on this website. Have the two of you ever thought to ask yourselves why inter won jack before mourinho (other than when Juve were booted out briefly) and won jack after. The only saving grace inter now have is to immediately sack Spalletti and beg mourinho to come back. As a Juve fan, I’m so bored of this walk in the park league, I want an inter revival.
on the 18th December, 2018 at 9:16pm
Bayern spent 50m for a 30 years old wing player?
He worth’s no more than 30m by his age and his poor performance
Inter made so many stupid transfer, buying Ninja, did not take rafhina and Cancelo And the stupidest is did not sell Perisic to Man Utd
on the 18th December, 2018 at 1:21pm
He's at that age now where it might be in Inter's best interests to sell.

He's played well for them overall and had a strong WC, but hasn't looked up to it this season and his average form was one of the reasons they didn't qualify for the CL knockouts.

They'd struggle to get 50m for him, even in this crazy market, unless he goes to the epl.

Keita probably isn't worth shelling out 30m on either, so Inter could be on the lookout for 2 wingers next summer, and a creative midfielder above all
on the 18th December, 2018 at 12:21pm
The problem with Perisic is twofold: It's his inconsistent form, and Spaletti's refusal to ever bench/sub him off. Perisic's inconsistency is not new to us, he always dips for long stretches (8-10 games) and becomes a burden (yes he helps out defensively, but we need him offensively). Spaletti's refusal to ever sub him off has cost us a lot in many matches this season. Never getting benched gives him no sense of urgency, and punishes Keita and luataro who do play well when they come on.
on the 18th December, 2018 at 12:03pm

Post new comment

Your email address is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
If you have your own website, enter its address here.
Maximum 500 characters.
This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.
Enter the characters shown in the image.
Your responses will be moderated, and sometimes edited, by Football Italia before appearing on the site. Your data may be made public and you accept our Privacy Policy. Please keep your comments clean and try to keep them relevant to the blog above. We reserve the right to reject views that we deem unsuitable for publication.