Profiling Manchester United and Chelsea target Ivan Perisic

Profiling Manchester United and Chelsea target Ivan Perisic

Ivan Perisic is a player that looks set for a Premier League move, after being linked with both Manchester United and Chelsea in recent days. A move to Old Trafford is rumoured to be more likely, after Sky Sports reported that Jose Mourinho’s side were in talks with Inter Milan over the Croatian. However, they will face competition for his signature from rivals Chelsea. It could take a fee as high as £36 million to convince the Serie A club to sell the 28-year-old, who has enjoyed a good season in Italy, contributing 11 goals and eight assists in the league.

Style of play

The Croatian international is a winger who has an eye for goal, as shown by his goals tally for the past season. He is excellent at manoeuvring in tight spaces to get a shot away in the final third, and possesses intelligent movement on the left wing, as he frequently drifts inside to find pockets of space to exploit. Perisic is a direct winger, as shown by his average of 3.4 shots per ninety minutes. Across the season, 77% of his shots were taken inside the area, which underlines his intelligent shot selection and the threat that he poses opposition defences.

Although Perisic offers more in goal-scoring that he does in creativity, his average of 1.73 key passes and 2 chances created per ninety minutes show that he can break down opposition defences. His haul of eight assists is an impressive total for the season and show that he can create opportunities for others to score.

The Premier League is demanding and every player in the team needs to contribute off the ball. This won’t be a problem for Perisic as he is industrious and happy to work hard defensively. In Serie A, he has averaged 2.56 ball recoveries per ninety minutes, which is impressive for an attacking player. His tactical understanding and desire to work hard for the team will mean that he can adjust seamlessly to the English game. This will particularly appeal to Jose Mourinho, as the Manchester United boss expects his attacking players to contribute to the defensive shape of the team.

He is best utilised as an inside forward on the left wing, as he is most dangerous when around the penalty area and in range of goal. Perisic isn’t an out-and-out winger that will beat a full-back and deliver crosses from a wide position. The Croatian prefers to move infield and link-up with the striker to offer a genuine goal threat. This would suit the styles of both Chelsea and Manchester United, but it is the latter that have the more pressing need for him, as they have struggled for goals this season, finishing the lowest scorers of the top seven teams.

Which club should he sign for?

Perisic is a good inside forward, but there are doubts about whether he is at the level required to play for a top six club in the Premier League. At a fee of £36 million, there are better players to target. That said, for the player himself, a move to Manchester United would give him the best chance of success. He has a style that would suit Mourinho’s style of play and he would contribute goals from midfield, which they have lacked since the Portuguese manager took charge at the club. The Croatian would be willing to play a more disciplined role for the team and United haven’t had a player make the left spot their own under Mourinho. It is a move that makes sense for both clubs, although Perisic would need to hit the ground running to prove he is worth the rumoured transfer fee.