Tottenham Hotspur

Tottenham Hotspur

Premier League • England

New Tottenham manager candidate emerges as club icon with Son connection becomes shock contender

Jurgen Klinsmann and Son Heung-min

Jurgen Klinsmann has become a new option to take over as the next head coach of Tottenham Hotspur, according to a surprise report in his native Germany.

Klinsmann enjoyed two spells as a Tottenham player in the 1990s, scoring 38 goals in 68 games for the club. Since his retirement, he has held various coaching roles. Earlier this year, he took charge of South Korea, enabling him to coach Son Heung-min.

In a slightly surprising turn of events, he could get the opportunity to do that at club level. According to Kicker, Klinsmann is the latest name on the Tottenham shortlist for a successor to Antonio Conte.

Spurs recently parted company with Conte and handed the reins over to his assistant, Cristian Stellini, for the remainder of the season. In the summer, they want to appoint a new permanent manager.

The shortlist currently includes Vincent Kompany, Julian Nagelsmann (who may have already rejected them), Mauricio Pochettino, Brendan Rodgers and Graham Potter, it has been claimed.

But now, Klinsmann is another contender for the job after attending Tottenham’s 3-2 loss to Bournemouth on Saturday. The reason for his visit was to watch Son, but perhaps things could develop further.

At club level, Klinsmann has only ever coached Bayern Munich and Hertha Berlin in his home country. He has also managed their national team, before similar roles with the USA and South Korea.

His spells on the touchline have been relatively spread out, so taking a second job in 2023 – and specifically, his first ever in the Premier League – would be quite the leap for the 58-year-old.

Presumably, he would have to vacate his commitments with South Korea – which are due to last until the 2026 World Cup – if he was to take charge of Tottenham. But as things stand, there is nothing to suggest he is a leading candidate for Tottenham; merely, Klinsmann is someone to consider.

Klinsmann could help Son form for Tottenham

Interestingly, Son scored a brace in Klinsmann’s first game in charge of South Korea, which was a 2-2 draw with Colombia. The Spurs forward also played all of their subsequent 2-1 loss to Uruguay.

Son’s form at club level has come under scrutiny this season. He has scored 12 goals from 40 appearances in all competitions, including one each in his past two Premier League outings.

However, he has undergone some dry patches of form. For context, he finished last season with 24 goals from 45 games, which indicates how he has regressed.

But Klinsmann managed to get something out of him at the first opportunity and his output has benefitted even for Spurs since. It would be interesting to see if a union at club level could help Son preserve higher standards for Tottenham.

Yet the most important factor Spurs might be considering at this stage of their managerial pursuit relates to not Son, but his strike partner, Harry Kane. They will need to find a tactician who appeals to the England captain while he debates whether to extend his stay at the club or not.

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