Although Ivan Perisic has never played in the Premier League before, there are plenty who know all about the Croatian.
The former Inter Milan player signed for Antonio Conte’s Spurs this week and, apart from when he was an opposition player, the midfielder has never played in England.
But there will be some familiar faces next season – including his new manager.
Although Conte was initially critical of the winger-turned-winger upon his arrival at the club, Perisic ended up being a key player in the title-winning Italian’s 3-5-2 formation.
Conte has since changed his mind about Perisic, later saying: “When you have that kind of determination, that enthusiasm, that desire, in the end everything becomes easier for the coach.”
However, some of his new teammates may not have the best memories of playing against the 33-year-old, breaking England’s hearts in 2018.
Eric Dier and Harry Kane were both part of the Three Lions side that were knocked out of the World Cup semi-final by Croatia, a match in which Perisic both scored and assisted.
He also scored in the final against France, but his team ultimately lost that game 4-2.
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If he prevented Kane from winning his first trophy as a player at international level, he hopes to make up for his past efforts by helping him finally win one at club level.
And maybe if Kane reads his new teammate’s glowing comments about him that summer, he could start to forgive the winner of that game in 2018.
When asked what player finishing technique he would like to have, Perisic replied: “I think the best finisher is Tottenham’s Harry Kane.”
One man Perisic may still have to make amends with, however, is Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp.
The two worked together at Borussia Dortmund between 2011 and 2013 but it ended bitterly after the player decided to go public with his dissatisfaction with the lack of playing time he was getting.
He even accused his manager at the time of favoring certain players over others. Ouch.
Perisic told Croatian media in 2012: “I can’t be happy with my situation at the club. I don’t have much time on the pitch, a bit like last year.
“We have no relationship. He is the best coach in Germany at the moment, the No. 1, everyone accepts the junior role.
“And rightly so, what we have achieved at Dortmund in recent years is unique.
“The atmosphere in the team is perfect, but he has three to four players he talks to. The rest of us are pros, doing our job.
Klopp didn’t hold back when he responded to Perisic’s comments, saying: ‘Public whining belongs in kindergarten, not in the adult world.
“If he doesn’t play, a football professional should shut up, work hard and get the coach to pick him – not complain to the journalists.”
The player signed for Wolfsburg shortly after his outburst, so it will be interesting to see how the pair interact when Liverpool take on Tottenham next season.
Later in his career, Perisic swapped Klopp for flip flops and grass for sand when he made his Swatch Beach Volleyball Major Series debut.
He received an invitation from the tournament organizers – which the Inter hierarchy are said to be furious with, fearing he could injure himself while playing another sport.
He was comfortably beaten by a Brazilian duo, who competed in the Olympics. But had he progressed to the next round, he could have missed Inter’s start to the Serie A season.
And Conte hopes Perisic’s presence on board for Spurs will see them gain more success.
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