Former Inter Sporting Director Marco Branca believes that the loss of Ivan Perisic has had a bigger effect on the Nerazzurri on the pitch than the injury absence of Romelu Lukaku.

Speaking to Milan-based newspaper Gazzetta dello Sport in an interview published in today’s print edition, the former Inter executive gave his thoughts on Sunday’s Serie A clash with Udinese and also spoke about how much the absence of Perisic has been a factor for the team this season.

Perisic had arguably been Inter’s outstanding player last season, so it was always expected that his departure for Tottenham Hotspur on a free transfer would see a drop-off down his left flank, at least for a period as Robin Gosens figured out how to play the role at a high level.

However, there had been some suggestion that Lukaku’s arrival would be the summer signing that would make up for the loss of the Croat, albeit not like-for-like.

Brance spoke about Perisic’s summer exit, stating that “It couldn’t have happened otherwise, because he wanted to try out an experience in the Premier League before the end of his career.”

“He has been a bigger loss for them than Lukaku through injury,” the former Sporting Director added.

“He was at the end of the contract,” he continued, “attempts were made but I understand Ivan, there was no reason why he shouldn’t do this for his own personal satisfaction.”

Of Gosens, Branca said that “He arrived in Milan when he wasn’t fit, now I think he may have more time to get back to his level. For me he’s an excellent player.”

Asked if he would have sold Milan Skriniar in the summer, Branca replied that “From a sporting point of view, no, but there are other aspects to be considered that only the club knows.”

“Being able to keep him is an advantage for Inter,” he added. “Certainly he may have been negatively influenced by the transfer rumours, although he’s always proved that he is tied to this club.”

Of Inter’s chances of making it out of their Champions League group, Branca said that “It’s a complicated group. But this Inter only need one great performance to break free, find themselves, and never stop. If they find the key to that then they can play against anyone.”

And of the Scudetto race, Branca said that “It will be the usual teams in contention, Inter, Milan, Juve, and Napoli.”