Inter Milan manager Luciano Spalletti lauded the selflessness of Ivan Perisic after the star attacker helped overcome a dogged Crotone on Saturday.
Perisic added stoppage-time polish to a 2-0 away win to continue Inter's perfect start in Serie A.
The Croatian, who was heavily linked with a move to Manchester United over the off-season, has been at the forefront of his team's flying start to the campaign with three goals in four straight victories.
And Spalletti says the 28-year-old's influence extends well beyond the scoresheet.
"Perisic sacrificed himself a lot," Spaletti told Mediaset Premium.
"Leaders show themselves when the team needs them and Ivan has shown that he is important in these opening matches.
"Teams that want to get results think this way, by dividing up strengths and weaknesses and by taking on responsibility when their teammates are in difficulty."
Slovakia international Milan Skriniar earlier broke the deadlock in the 82nd minute to set Inter on their way at Stadio Ezio Scida.
The defender echoed his manager in stressing the value of the team's tight-knit bond.
"I am very happy for the goal but the most important thing is that we won even if we were not at our best," Skriniar said.
"Now we are thinking of the next match and we will continue like that. We are a great group and a strong team, all the guys are great and we know that the collective comes before the individual."