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Former Spurs boss divulges decision which prevented the departure of 16-goal ace

Son Heung-min has been an exceptional signing for Tottenham Hotspur since joining from Bayer Leverkusen in 2015 for £27m. His value has skyrocketed as a result of the South Korean’s outstanding performances, up from £14.4m at the time he joined the north London outfit to £72m. His development was in large part due to the faith placed in him by former manager Mauricio Pochettino, and the ex-Tottenham Hotspur boss has suggested that he is responsible for the South Korean remaining at the within the realms of North London.

What did he say?

Speaking on the High Performance Podcast, via Evening Standard, the former Espanyol and Southampton manager said: “With Harry Kane injured, Son not playing the first few months because of the Asian Games, no one talks about that. Today Son is at Tottenham because we allowed him to go and play two competitions that weren’t compulsory, not being selfish and saying, ‘No, Son needs to stay here.’”

The former Argentinian international added: “Because of the club. If not, two years and you need to stop the contract with Son. No one says anything about that. It was our decision to provide him the time to go.”

Country over club

Son was allowed to be temporarily released from his contract to participate in the Asian Games, a competition not recognised by FIFA. He missed three matches at the season before being absent for a large proportion of January due to the intercontinental competition. His manager at the time clearly believes the player would not have remained at Tottenham Hotspur had he not been allowed to compete in the tournament.

This season for Tottenham Hotspur the winger was exceptional until a fractured arm threatened to keep him out for the remainder of the season, however, given it has since been postponed, the South Korean star could yet return. The forward had been instrumental to Spurs’ fight back up the Premier League table under new manager Jose Mourinho, scoring 16 goals in all competitions this season, second behind only Kane’s 17 goals, along with providing eight assists. In Son’s absence, Tottenham Hotspur are yet to win once, losing five and drawing one, highlighting both his influence and importance within the team.

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Premier League Table

# Team MP W D L P
1 Everton 5 4 1 0 13
2 Aston Villa 5 4 0 1 12
3 Leeds United 6 3 1 2 10
4 Liverpool 5 3 1 1 10
5 Crystal Palace 6 3 1 2 10
6 Leicester City 5 3 0 2 9
7 Arsenal 5 3 0 2 9
8 Wolverhampton Wanderers 5 3 0 2 9
9 Tottenham Hotspur 5 2 2 1 8
10 Chelsea 5 2 2 1 8
11 West Ham United 6 2 2 2 8
12 Manchester City 5 2 2 1 8
13 Southampton 5 2 1 2 7
14 Newcastle United 5 2 1 2 7
15 Manchester United 4 2 0 2 6
16 Brighton & Hov… 5 1 1 3 4
17 West Bromwich Albion 5 0 2 3 2
18 Burnley 4 0 1 3 1
19 Sheffield United 5 0 1 4 1
20 Fulham 6 0 1 5 1

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