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Niko Kovac defends Bayern Munich’s signing of Ivan Perisic

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Perisic’s loan has met with some criticism, but Kovac defends the player and Bayern’s rationale for signing him.

Croatia v Iceland - FIFA 2014 World Cup Qualifier: Play-off Second Leg Photo by Alex Grimm/Getty Images

It’s official: Ivan Perisic has joined Bayern Munich from Inter Milan on a one-year loan worth €5m with an option to buy for €20m. While it might look like a good deal on paper, Perisic’s loan has met with criticism and speculation among pundits and fans alike.

Before Bayern’s DFB-Pokal clash against Energie Cottbus, Niko Kovac was asked by ARD (via AZ) about Perisic and Bayern’s reasons for ultimately signing him on loan. While Perisic is viewed as a short-term solution by some, Kovac feels that the Croatian deserves proper respect and should not be compared to Sane or any of the other (more expensive) prospects Bayern have been linked with. Kovac said,

I have to say the following: I think the debate is fundamentally misguided — people are trashing a player here. No matter whether he comes, whether he doesn’t come, I think something like that is inappropriate. You can’t talk about him as a B, C or X-solution. I think we all have to ask ourselves whether what has gone on lately and is still going on is right.

At 30 years of age, Perisic will join Bayern as one of the oldest members of the squad, going slightly against the grain in what the club were looking for in a youthful winger like Sane. Still, though, Kovac feels that Perisic’s age should not be of any concern. Instead, one should look at what Persisic brings to the table with his experience:

We have to get away from looking at age. We have to look at what the guys have achieved. Can they help? (...) And not always attack and trash them. Wait and see what the future holds.

The jury is still out on Perisic and time will tell whether he makes a significant, positive impact for Bayern in their pursuit of another domestic double and strong push in the Champions League. While he might not be Leroy Sane, he still has a lot to offer, especially with his experience playing at the top level.