Increased role heading Spurs winger’s way after Sunderland show
It has been an up and down week for Heung-Min Son.
After crowning his first start of the season with a brace in Stoke, the Tottenham winger was whipped off at half-time of the club’s opening Champions League defeat against Monaco.
The South Korean international was back on form at home to Sunderland last time out though.
In a match that Spurs inexplicably only won 1-0, Son was awarded the man of the match award for an all-action performance in a dominant Lilywhites display at White Hart Lane:
— Sky Sports Statto (@SkySportsStatto) September 18, 2016
After the game, Mauricio Pochettino revealed he stopped the winger from leaving White Hart Lane this summer, which suggests the Argentine sees Son as much more than just a squad player.
The 24-year-old’s importance in north London comes from the variety he provides, something his manager holds in extremely high regard.
Evidence of just how vital diverse attacking players are to Pochettino arrived on Deadline Day, when Spurs forked out £30m for Moussa Sissoko, who is essentially a 200m runner.
The Newcastle man filled a void for powerful running that Spurs sorely lacked in their squad and each of the side’s wide men bring a different skill set to the team.
Along with Sissoko, the three other players vying for time out wide are Erik Lamela, the side’s chief nuisance, Christian Eriksen, who offers guile and Son, the goal threat.
Looking at the Bayer Leverkusen purchase’s numbers from last season helps illustrate that point.
Son had more shots in 1107 minutes of top-flight action last term (38) than both dribble and cross attempts (32 and 14 respectively). In fact, only Harry Kane of the Spurs regulars fired off more shots per 90 minutes than the Gangwon native.
That quest for goals is fully understandable considering both Leverkusen and Hamburg used the left-flank man as a secondary striker before his move to the capital. But as the highlight reel from his Sunderland outing shows, the 46-cap international is becoming a more-rounded winger.
Although he ensured he satisfied his need to shoot with a game-high seven, Son also whipped over 15 crosses, which is one more than he attempted all last season, and went on 13 mazy runs.
Spurs’ near total domination of the ball against a passive Black Cats outfit clearly helped pad the Lilywhite winger’s stats, but signs that Son can nail down a regular Spurs spot thanks the new strings on his bow were still evident.
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