ESPN has reported that Tottenham are ready to make a move for Ivan Perisic in the summer, looking to bring him to England. The North London side have been linked with a move for former Manchester City man Nolito, according to Spanish news outlet Fichajes.
Tottenham were linked with a move for Nolito before. It was in 2016 but nothing ever happened and instead, the Spaniard joined Manchester City (Express). He left a year to join the La Liga and has since struggled to make an impact.
However, now the move makes a little sense, with Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino eyeing a player with a lot of experience. But when it comes down to the experienced Inter Milan winger and the experienced Sevilla star, who is the better option?
While Nolito is older than Ivan Perisic by two years, the Croatian winger has played a higher number of games, showing his class in four different leagues. This includes the Bundesliga, Serie A and the Belgian top-tier with a total of 416 appearances.
Nolito, on the other hand, has also played in four different leagues but has, in comparison, only managed 317 appearances. The Spaniard however, has made a large majority of his appearances in the La Liga, with spells at Celta de Vigo, Sevilla and FC Barcelona.
However, he only managed 5 first-team appearances for Barcelona, instead, spending most of his time with their B team. Even then, the 32-year-old has only managed to score a paltry 91 goals in 317 appearances, while in comparison, Perisic has managed 113 goals.
It shows just how good the 30-year-old Inter Milan star has been and for how much longer. When it comes to assists, Perisic dominates as well, creating 86 goals as compared to Nolito’s 53.
In fact, it’s a shock that Tottenham are after the former Cityzens winger, given how badly he struggled.
During the 2016/17 season, Nolito only managed to score 6 goals and create 5 in 30 appearances. He struggled terribly and was eventually sold to Sevilla a year later.
Since then, Nolito has managed to score only five goals and create 5 in 42 appearances, a large majority of it coming in the 2017/18 season. Perisic, in the same amount of time, has played 73 games for Inter Milan, scoring 17 goals and creating 14 goals.
Once again, it shows the difference between the two wingers. Further delving into the statistics, Perisic finished last season with 3.1 shots, 2 key passes, 0.8 dribbles and a 75% passing average per game.
Nolito, on the other hand, managed 1.3 shots, 1.1 key passes, 0.9 dribbles, and a 70% passing average per game.
The Spaniard should have the advantage over Perisic, having played fewer games than him, but he doesn’t do as much. Moreover, Persic, for an attacking winger, is very defensively sound.
The 30-year-old averages 1.3 tackles, 1.2 interceptions and 1.5 clearances per game. Nolito doesn’t even come close, with him outdoing Perisic only in tackles per game at 1.6.
What does put the nail in the coffin is the fact that the Spaniard hasn’t played since January, thanks to an injury.
But even when he has been fit, Nolito has failed to make the cut, benched more often than not, barely making the final squad on more than one occasion. It showcases the Spaniard’s decline and the clear cut winner of this statistics battle.
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Tottenham do not and more importantly should not be targeting players past the age of 30 who are closing in on the end of their prime time. But if they do insist on doing as much, Ivan Perisic is clearly the better option over the 33-year-old Nolito despite the Spaniard’s Premier League experience.
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