Tottenham Hotspur

Tottenham Hotspur

Premier League • England

Glenn Hoddle insists Tottenham man left out of Marseille win has to start at Man City as misfiring Son Heung-min facing chop

Son Heung-min, Harry Kane Tottenham July 2022

Legendary Tottenham midfielder Glenn Hoddle insists Dejan Kulusevski has to start Saturday’s big Premier League clash at Manchester City, which could spell bad news for Son Heung-min.

The South Korean, who was the joint Golden Boot winner last season, has endured a tough start to the new campaign, having failed to score in the opening six Premier League games, and he carried that streak into the Champions League on Wednesday evening.

Spurs beat Marseille 2-0 in their opening group game. But while Son failed to find the target again, he did play a major role in the visitors being reduced to 10 men – a decision that turned the tide in a game Tottenham were struggling in.

Richarlison was the hero as he bagged his first two goals for the club. And, while Hoddle feels the Brazilian could now be undroppable, he also thinks Kulusevski has to come back into the starting XI at The Etihad.

The Swede was named on the bench against Marseille but came on at right wing-back as Tottenham chased a goal.

Kulusevski immediately gave Antonio Conte’s men more creativity down that side. However, the chances of him playing that same role at City are highly unlikely.

Conte will almost certainly plump for the more defensive-minded Emerson against City’s attacking threat.

That means one of Son or Richarlison being left out to accommodate Kulusevski, which will be a tough call.

Kulusevski has to start Etihad clash

But speaking after the match, Hoddle told BT Sport that the latter has to be in the team.

He said: “Kulusevski, for me, needs to play against Man City. The big question is, Son wasn’t at his best again tonight. He needs a goal, once he gets a goal, he’ll be fine. He might even look to put Richarlison on that left-hand side.”

Dropping Son would have been unthinkable at the start of the season, but it’s becoming a reality.

The former Bayer Leverkusen man looks so short on confidence, despite looking livelier in the win over Fulham.

However, it will come as a huge surprise if Conte does drop him to the bench to face Pep Guardiola’s men.

Son has caused the City defence no end of problems with his pace and movement in recent seasons. To that end, Kulusevski’s best chance of playing will likely be that right wing-back role.

It’s certainly a nice problem for Conte to a have and one that was not an option last season.

Richarlison gives the Tottenham boss cover in all three front positions and is a danger from crosses and set-pieces.

That was certainly noticed by another BT pundit in Owen Hargreaves after the Marseille clash.

He added: “As a young boy, you dream of getting to this stage, playing in front of this crowd, this stadium.

“He’s worked so hard. And to score two in your first Champions League game is pretty special. He’s exceptional in the air and we saw that tonight.”

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