Ex-Bayern star Ivan Perisic is currently experiencing his third spring at Inter Milan and is reaching for his second Scudetto. But what makes him so valuable?

The tireless Ivan Perisic is currently experiencing his third spring at Inter Milan.

In the past five Serie A games, the Croatian international has been directly involved in six goals, is as defensively and offensively active as ever on the left wing – and is partly responsible for the Nerazzurri reaching for the Scudetto in 2022.

With three matchdays to go, city rivals AC Milan lead the table with 77 points ahead of defending champions Inter (75). The thrilling duel for the championship is electrifying the whole of Italy. And the 33-year-old is right in the middle of it, although some football experts have once again written him off too early.

Perisic’s rocky road to professional football

At the age of 17, Perisic left Hajduk Split without ever having celebrated his professional debut for his heart’s club. The mega-talent was only used in a single test match against FK Smederevo before moving on to Sochaux with his mother and sister while his father tried to save the struggling chicken farm in Croatia.

But things were no better in France, so the Croatian was loaned to KSV Roeselare in 2009. Even though the club was relegated at the time, the left-back left a lasting impression in Belgium, so FC Brugge swooped in and bought him from FC Sochaux for 200,000 euros.

A real bargain, because only two years later Borussia Dortmund put four million on the table. With 22 goals and ten assists, Perisic was the best player in the Jupiler Pro League. Top scorer. Croatian national player and Belgium’s Footballer of the Year as well as a BVB player from the summer of 2011.

Jürgen Klopp raved at the time: “Perisic is two-footed, fast, not untalented strategically and has a strong header.” His compatriot Ivan Rakitic even went so far in Bild: “Perisic is a phenomenon. He will have a very great career in Dortmund. Michael Zorc and Klopp have once again landed an absolute full grenade.”

And the highly praised player did not disappoint at all: double winner in 2012 with Dortmund. DFB Cup winner and DFL Supercup winner in 2015 with VfL Wolfsburg. After four titles, 33 goals, 24 assists in 152 appearances for the two Bundesliga clubs, he went to Inter Milan for 19 million euros.

Inter Milan values these strengths of the Croatian

In Lombardy, Perisic is finally finding his great fortune. The two-footed Inter star puts a lot of pressure on the left side, impresses with his willingness to run and, as a trained offensive player, is not above working at the back. He benefits from his good physicality, which enables him to hold his own in duels, both defensively and offensively.

This, of course, goes down well with the coach and the fans, who immediately take him to their hearts. Above all, the Croatian is unpredictable: while Filip Kostic at Eintracht Frankfurt breaks through almost exclusively on the left and then hits sharp crosses into the penalty area, Perisic not only masters that, but can also move inside in Robben style and look for his strong goal finish. Thus, his defender never knows where he will pull with pace.

In addition, the 1.86 metre tall Inter star is extremely strong on the header, which he once again impressively demonstrated last weekend against Udinese Calcio when he headed in a corner for a 1:0 lead.

In 2017, the Croatian international was on the verge of a move to Manchester United, but the Nerazzurri did not want to come down a cent from the €50 million transfer fee demanded – and Ed Woodward did not want to go up, which is why the transfer fell through.

José Mourinho wanted him so badly: “How close was I? Very close. When José called me, it was an unbelievable thing for me. I really wanted to join him and play for United. It was a dream of mine to play in all the big leagues. But that didn’t come true. That was painful for me,” Perisic told The Athletic.

Perisic becomes World Cup runner-up and wins the treble with Bayern

He quickly got over the disappointment: in 2018, he was a surprise World Cup runner-up with Croatia and was one of the Vatreni’s most important players, contributing four goals.

After Antonio Conte took over Inter in 2019, he was sorted out and loaned to FC Bayern. Painful, but in retrospect profitable. With the Munich side, he won the triple of Champions League, Cup and German championship. And with 18 scorer points, the joker played a significant role in these successes.