Harry Kane’s injury is an obvious blow for Tottenham, but in Heung-min Son they have the perfect deputy and a man capable of saving the club millions, writes James Marshment.
Just 10 minutes had elapsed at White Hart Lane on Sunday when Tottenham’s worst fears were realised and star player Harry Kane limped off with an ankle injury.
But while Kane and his 24 goals for Tottenham this season are a huge loss – you ask any club the world over if they can cope without their star centre forward – his absence for Mauricio Pochettino’s side might not be as big a blow as you may initially think.
With Tottenham still awaiting to see how long Kane will be sidelined for with his latest injury, it’s worth recalling that Heung-min Son – the man who stepped up the last time the striker was injured – is a more than capable deputy.
The South Korean, who could’ve returned to the Bundesliga over the summer, is a hugely underrated talent at Tottenham. True, the Spurs coaching staff and faithful will now exactly what the South Korean is all about, but in terms of his general perception within the media, Son rarely gets the credit he truly deserves?
Here’s the Son goal that put Spurs 2-0 up pic.twitter.com/ct7rMVvsyg
— Soccer Aesthetics (@SoccerAesthetic) March 12, 2017
Son was the man that Pochettino turned to for goals when Kane was sidelined with a similar injury for a six-week spell between mid-September and November – and the South Korean responded in some style with some pretty impressive stats.
In fact, he was so good for Tottenham that month, that he scooped the award for Premier League Player of the Month.
???? 3 matches
???? 3 wins
⚽ 4 goals
???? 1 assist
Heung-Min Son is the first Asian player to win the Premier League Player of the Month award. pic.twitter.com/sjUUAed328
— Marathonbet (@marathonbet) October 14, 2016
Having been asked to play on the left and on the right for Tottenham, Son can use Kane’s injury absence to prove to his manager he deserves a run in the side through the middle.
— TEAMtalk (@TEAMtalk) March 12, 2017
Granted, he may not have the vision or hold-up play that Kane gives Tottenham, but his work-rate and eye for a goal makes him a more than able deputy.
With Pochettino consistently linked with a string of big-name strikers to compete for Kane’s shirt at Tottenham – the latest being Sunday’s suggestion they were watching this Sampdoria striker – perhaps in Son he already has the player he needs right under his nose?
5 – Only Adam Morgan (6) has scored more FA Cup goals this season than Son Heung-Min (5). Sharpshooter.
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) March 12, 2017
The Premier League is an unforgiving arena and unless you hit the ground running, players, especially centre forwards, rarely recover from slow starts. It’s for that reason that Vincent Janssen, having scored just five goals in 25 appearances for the club since his €20million arrival from Vitesse, looks destined to be packed off after just one season this summer. A first goal from open play on Sunday against Millwall is unlikely to change perceptions about him any time soon.
But when it comes to signing a replacement for Janssen, perhaps Pochettino should use the money elsewhere and opt to play Son in a more central role more often. It’s safe to assume he won’t let Spurs down…