Tottenham star boy Son Heung-min is back to his absolute best this season – but a club source has revealed just how close he came to leaving the club and how current Chelsea boss Mauricio Pochettino managed to talk him round.
The South Korean is revelling under Ange Postecoglou at Tottenham this season, having been given a starring role at the club this season. That comes as a big relief – and a timely one for Spurs at that – with the player cutting an unhappy figure and dropped to the bench on a few occasions last season.
Thriving under the Aussie, South Korea hero Son has scored seven times in his first 10 games, already reaching half of his total tally throughout the duration of last season.
Now in his ninth season at Spurs, the 31-year-old has struck up a brilliant understanding with summer signing James Maddison, with the two men combining to devastating effect and having the club sat pretty at the Premier League summit.
Indeed, with both players on the scoresheet on Monday evening as Fulham were beaten 2-0 to make it seven wins from nine games, Jamie Carragher had no trouble in announcing in his analysis of Son’s goal that “this is why he’s one of my favourite players in the Premier League right now”.
That strike took his tally to 152 goals in 383 games for the club, with the South Korean holding a special place in all of Tottenham supporters’ hearts.
However, it has now emerged that Son may not have become the icon that he is today in that particular corner of north London had the player had a previous exit request granted.
Pochettino persuaded Son Heung-min not to quit Tottenham
Indeed, had it not been for the persuasive powers of Pochettino, the man who first brought Sonny to Spurs, the love affair between the player and the club could have been over before it really even begun.
Tottenham expert Alasdair Gold has revealed the story on his YouTube channel and how Pochettino managed to persuade the player not to leave just 12 months into his career at N17.
“As for the positives, you have to start with Sonny. That finish, he does so many of those trademark finishes, he’s so good at it,” Gold said.
“He’s started the season how everyone hoped he would. He’s the main man in the attack at Spurs, that’s exactly what he needed. Son has stepped up and has become a star.”
Reflecting on how he almost departed, Gold added: “He’s a terrific player, Spurs are so lucky to have him, it’s come full circle now. That first year, afterwards he kind of wanted to leave the club, and Pochettino had to convince him to stay, now, all these years on he’s the face of the club.”
Spurs fans will be so glad Son was persuaded to stay. A genuine club icon, he is a brilliant ambassador for the club and one who is brilliant for the club in reaching new audiences in Asia.
Now back to his best, he’s not only revelling under Postecoglou, but also in being Tottenham’s main man, with Son loving life centre stage after the exit of Harry Kane.
His current deal at the club expires in 2025; Spurs fans would surely welcome an extension, based on this season’s form, despite his advancing years.