An away game against a newly promoted side is never easy but Mauricio Pochettino’s men made easy work of Aitor Karanka’s Middlesbrough side this weekend in the Premier League. The Spurs were missing the services of star striker Harry Kane, who is out of the game for quite a lengthy period of time this season. However, Son Heung-min, a player who was on the verge of a move to the Bundesliga in the summer, came up with a brilliant performance getting on the score sheet twice in the first half at the Riverside.
These goals took the 24-year old’s tally to four goals this season which is already more than his contribution in the entire campaign last time around. With their main goal scorer absent, Pochettino will now need his players to be on top of their game and Son might be the man he might turn to in the absence of Kane.
After a turbulent debut season at the club, Son was not in the plans of the manager who was ready to recoup the £22m they spent on him last summer. However, having not acquired most of his top transfer targets, Pochettino was not ready to let go of the South Korean international, giving him another chance at the club. With European commitments keeping the squad busy, Son was supposed to be a squad player who can fill in when needed, but the lack of a genuine winger who can play on the left side of the attack saw Pochettino use the 24-year old in that position. Son has grabbed his chance with both hands and has served Pochettino well, at least so far this season.
Kane’s injury would have rung alarm bells in Tottenham’s dressing room as they were now missing a genuine attacking threat that has no real replacement in the squad. Vincent Janssen and Moussa Sissoko are too early into their career at the club to shoulder the responsibility. The likes of Christian Eriksen and Dele Alli and Eric Lamela will provide their own threat in front of goal but they need a goalscoring poacher who can take most chances that come their way. This is where Son might have reduced the manager’s headaches early this season.
The South Korean international was unplayable at the Riverside stadium where he was against a clueless Antonio Barragan. He toyed with the Middlesbrough defender and found himself in goal-scoring positions more often than not. He showed his ability with the ball at his feet as he brushed past a cluster of Middlesbrough players on more than one occasion and with his confidence at its peak, he might be the solution, the short-term one at least for Kane’s absence from the squad at a crucial time in the season.
Spurs are yet to be beaten this season and Pochettino will hope that he will not have to chance too much to his squad to keep the momentum going. Kane will be a loss that will hurts but Son with his form may be the man that bails him out.
He is a player who fits the profile of a player Tottenham Hotspur need at their club (a place for the young and potential to shine). After all remember one Gareth Bale? Yes, I just went there. So it will be important for the manager to give him enough game time and help him develop into an even better player that can help them take the extra step this season. It is too soon to say whether Son can be the second coming of Gareth Bale but if he delivers wouldn’t that be something special?