Heung Min-Son, Tottenham Hotspur’s 26-year-old winger, recently helped his country to Gold in the Asian Games, with South Korea. This win helped Son avoid a 21-month mandatory military service for his country, and he is now back with Spurs, ready for action.
He only came on as a substitute in his side’s 2-1 loss to Liverpool at Wembley recently. He did not have enough time to get his side back into the game, but the urgency he and Erik Lamela showed, was what finally broke Liverpool’s resilient defence. He could have rescued a point if the referee had a clearer picture of Sadio Mane’s challenge on him. So how vital is Son to Mauricio Pochettino’s side? Should he be given a first-team spot immediately?
Having moved to London from Bayer Leverkusen in 2015, Son has slowly turned into a crucial part of the squad under Pochettino. In these three years, he has proven to be the best back-up to star striker Harry Kane. But to add to it, he has also been the most effective winger at the club. Spurs now have Lucas Moura, who has already scored three goals this season, but Son offers a different dimension to Spurs’ attack that makes Pochettino’s system all the more effective.
The Korean registered 18 tackles, 12 interceptions and 22 dribbles all season last time around. He is an energetic presence on the field, and his direct approach often troubles even the best of defenders. He may not be full of skills, but he would now be full of confidence, after an impressive World Cup and a winners medal in the Asian games.
He is 26 and at his prime and deserves to start regularly for his club. Son recently revealed that he missed the club in the four weeks he was on international duty and his 17-minute cameo against Liverpool showed that he is ready to make an impact on Spurs’ side.
Pochettino has used Lucas Moura and Harry Kane in a strike partnership while Dele Alli and Christian Eriksen have been used in slightly deeper roles. While this system has been effective in bits, reverting to a 4-2-3-1, with Son and Eriksen on the flanks and Alli in a no.10 role, could make Spurs even more effective.
Lucas can also be used on the other wing or from the bench to make an impact. But at the moment, even with the form the Brazilian is in, Son should get into the starting XI ahead of him.
Dele Alli is currently out with a niggle, which makes it easier for Pochettino to pick both his wingers but when the English playmaker is back in action, it is Son who adds more threat to the Spurs attack.
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