(During the next 30 days, starting May 10th, CroatianSports will be giving “season grades” to 30 of Croatia’s most important football players: Starting XI, bench, fringe, prospects. Grades will be given on preseason expectations vs. actual season performance; not stats.)
Day 3: Ivan Perišić
Season Grade: B
Game-tying long-range header against Japan to send Croatia to shoot-outs in the RO16
Breaking Van Dijk’s ankles and providing the assist against Liverpool
Team next season:
-Stay at Tottenham and be part of the re-tooling that will most likely occur (45%)
-Move back to Inter and regain his form in the Serie A, a league more suited to his playstyle (45%)
-Move to Hajduk and help the Bili dethrone rivals Dinamo (10%)
What to improve next season:
Keep fitness levels up. As an older player, Perišić’s speed, agility and endurance will only deteriorate from here. He’s still got the tools he’s always had just needs to have Modrić share his fountain of youth with him.
What the future holds:
Like Broz and Modrić, hopefully Perišić can help Croatia lift an international trophy before retirement. Perišić needs to move to a club where he can be deployed as an attacker, because he needs to continue to get offensive reps as our starting LW. This recent change to wing-back at Inter and Spurs has affected his offensive output for the NT (in my opinion) and consistent minutes (~75/game) at a German or Italian team at LW is the best thing for him right now.