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Tottenham Hotspur

Perisic: It was 'obvious' Spurs would overtake Arsenal in Premier League top four battle

4:12 PM GMT+4 04/08/2022
Ivan Perisic Tottenham
The Croatian veteran had a go at the Gunners after Mikel Arteta's men failed to earn a Champions League ticket last season

Ivan Perisic has taken a brutal dig at Arsenal after Tottenham's bitter rivals failed to finish in the top four of the 2021-22 Premier League season and missed out on the upcoming edition of the UEFA Champions League.

Mikel Arteta's men finished in the fifth spot with 69 points, just two short of Tottenham. Arsenal were humbled 3-0 by the Lilywhites in the north-London derby on matchday 36 which further stifled their chances of finishing in the top-four. They also lost to Newcastle United in the next match which sealed their fate.

Tottenham went on to win both their remaining matches against Burnley and Norwich which saw them pip their cross-town rivals to fourth spot.

What did Perisic say about Arsenal?

Perisic revealed Antonio Conte first reached out to him in March 2022 with the message of joining Spurs. Eventually, the second contact was made after they won against Arsenal which almost assured them of a top-four finish.

"I think our first contact was in March,” Perisic told Sky Sports. "The second one was in April when I think they won against Arsenal, and it was obvious that maybe they're going to reach the Champions League."

The Croatian wanted Champions League football as well as trying his luck in the Premier League, which further accelerated the move from Inter to London.

"I always wanted to play in the Champions League and my wish was also to try to come to the Premier League," he said. “When they reached the Champions League, we spoke and the deal was done in two days, and it was much easier.”

What did Modric say to Perisic before he joined Spurs?

Luka Modric spent four years at Tottenham before taking the next step in his career when he joined Real Madrid in the summer of 2012. Perisic sought advice from his compatriot and the midfielder further pushed him to complete the transfer.

He said: "I said to him that there is a possibility that I might come to his ex-club and he said to me all of the positive things about the club.

“We're going to wear the same number (14). I asked him for his permission and he said, ‘Okay, you can take it’, and yeah it was fun."