Having registered a paltry 4 goals in 28 league appearances for Tottenham Hotspur last season, the clouds hung over the future of South Korean international, Son Heung-min at the north London side.
Attempts were made to prise him away from the club having struggled with adapting to the league’s playing style in his first season. However, Pochettino convinced him to stay and both parties are already reaping the fruits.
Though a winger by nature, he has had to play as a backup to Harry Kane upfront due to huge competitions on the wings. He missed the start of the season through his involvement in his country’s participation at the Olympic football tournament. And would have grown frustrated upon his return to realize his playing chances could be further limited with Vincent Janssen’s arrival.
The tides have however turned for the 24-year-old, and with 4 goals in as many league games, he looks to be finally reestablishing himself within the Spurs attacking ranks.
Despite the lack of a starting role and frequent playing time, Son has had a hand or leg in 6 goals (4 goals and 2 assists) in his last 4 EPL appearances.
In his side’s total domination over Manchester City during Sunday’s cracker, Son was a major thorn in the flesh of the visitors backline. He cleverly set up Alli’s goal with a fine reverse through-pass that helped put Poch’s boys in a commanding 2 – 0 lead heading into half-time.
He himself was close to getting on the score sheet as he urged Lamela to allow him to take the spot-kick; one which the Argentine later failed to convert. Regardless, Son ran City’s central halves ragged all day, causing them all sorts of problems whenever Spurs launched their frequent attacks.
Looking at the numbers (as provided by Squawka) behind the Asian star player’s impressive start to the season, it is quite forgivable to jump to a conclusion that it could be his breakthrough season after all.
As opposed to 18 chances created, 52% shot accuracy and 80% average pass accuracy of his debut EPL season, Son has created 12 chances and recorded 54% and 84% in the shot and average pass accuracy respectively this term.
Kane’s injury might have given him the opportunity to play, but his excellent performance has solely been his own very making. It is evident how effective he has become in the attacking third, and clearly, it can only get better with each passing game.
With a tough-tackling defence and strong midfield behind him, Son has had to do almost next to little defensively. Safe for an average of 45% (same number as last season) in defensive duels, he hasn’t recorded any other defensive actions. And it’s really not needed when you have the Wanyamas and Sissokos watching over your back.
The passing aspect of his game also seems to have improved. In comparison to last season when the average length of his passes were 12 meters, he has adapted to the high pressing style and has averaged a length of 16 meters in his 4 league games so far.
Numbers don’t lie they say, and Son’s stats already is a pointer to a great campaign ahead. His future now suddenly looks bright in the Spurs colours. Son Heung-min is ready to make his mark, and he would be a focal point in Tottenham’s attack as they attempt to land a big prize at the end of the season. He’s far more than capable of delivering the goods.