Tottenham Hotspur

Tottenham Hotspur

Premier League • England

Ill-disciplined Tottenham legend told he can’t compete with ‘great’ Richarlison for key Postecoglou role

Richarlison, Son Heung-min Tottenham

Richarlison has been told he's a better central striker than Son Heung-min

Tottenham legend Son Heung-min has been told that he does not have the ‘discipline’ to play as a central striker and that Richarlison is a much better option in that role.

Spurs suffered a damaging blow to their hopes of securing a top-four finish after being on the end of a 4-0 rout at Newcastle on Saturday, a game in which Son, playing through the middle, failed to register a single shot.

That defeat was the second in the last five league games for Ange Postecoglou’s men, who face the small matter of a north London rivals Arsenal in their next outing.

Tottenham have suffered from not capitalising on the chances they create for much of the season, despite Son having notched 15 league goals and an improved campaign from Richarlison.

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However, the Brazilian has not featured since the 1-1 draw at West Ham earlier this month as he currently battles a knee problem.

In his absence, Spurs have not had a focal point to their attack and that was a key issue in the game on Tyneside as Son failed to impact the game in any way.

Even with Richarlison’s improved goals tally this season, Tottenham are still expected to try and bring in a world-class No.9 in the summer, having failed to replace Harry Kane.

However, former Wolves and Cardiff City frontman Jay Bothroyd rates Richarlison highly and feels he would do a much better job than Son through the middle when fit again.

Son not as effective playing centrally

Bothroyd is convinced that the South Korea captain lacks the discipline required to play upfront, suggesting that he is better suited to playing in his more natural left-wing role.

Speaking on The Optus Sport Football Podcast, Bothroyd praised Richarlison’s influence on Spurs this season, stating: “When Richarlison was playing, he was great for Tottenham, I’m sorry.

“I said this earlier on in the season – if he can start being disciplined in the middle, he will score goals because he is good in the air, he gets them ugly goals, them tap-ins, he can score a great goal – I think Tottenham have missed that.

“Now you’re playing Son up front – he’s a great player but he doesn’t have that discipline where he is going to stay between the two defenders because a player of his ability wants to get involved in the game.

“That’s why I feel, Tottenham don’t have their strongest side. Richarlison is in that strongest eleven now.”

Richarlison netted nine league goals in his last 13 appearances before being sidelined with the knee issue he’s been struggling with for a while.

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But in his absence, Postecoglou has had no role option but to play Son centrally as he clearly does not trust loanee Timo Werner in that role.

At this stage, it’s unclear whether Richarlison will be back for the Arsenal clash but that game is not until April 28 so he at least has time on his side.