Son Shines for Spurs
Tottenham Hotspur's South Korean forward, Son Heung-min, has returned to form just at the right moment for Spurs. With Harry Kane injured and their new signing, Vincent Janssen, yet to score in the Premier League, Tottenham fans were worried about who might score the goals for Spurs. The answer was the boot of Son Heung-min! Son has scored five goals in five matches this season and is now showing everyone why Spurs paid £22 million to Bayer Leverkusen in 2015. On Tuesday night, Spurs played against CSKA in Moscow and needed a win to kick-start their Champions League campaign after an opening round defeat against Monaco. Spurs got what they wanted with a hard-fought 1-0 win against the Russians. The goal arrived in the 71st minute when Erik Lamela passed to Son who placed the ball calmly past the goalkeeper.
Son's first Champions League goal for Spurs came just three days after scoring twice in the Premier League against Middlesbrough. Spurs won 2-1 and both of Son's goals were wonderful. The first came after seven minutes when he played a one-two with Janssen and then feinted to shoot one way before scoring. Son's second goal arrived 15 minutes later and was even better than the first. Son turned away from the byline and took the ball to the edge of the penalty box and then hit a curling shot into the top corner of the goal. It was the second time Son had scored twice in a Premier League game this season. If he continues like this, Spurs fans will be asking 'Who is Harry Kane?'
I feel very pleased for Sonny. He is on fire and to keep this form is very important for us. Spurs manager, Mauricio Pochettino.
What do we know about Son Heung-min?
Son Heung-min was born on 8 July 1992 in Chuncheon, a city in the north of South Korea. The city of around 250,000 people is surrounded by mountains and famous for its lakes and beautiful landscapes. As a child, Son played youth football for Seoul FC, whose youth teams have produced many famous South Korean footballers including Lee Chung-Yong, who currently plays for Crystal Palace. At just 16 years old, Son made a big move in his career, he signed for Hamburg in Germany's Bundesliga. After taking a couple of years to settle into life in Germany, Son made his first-team debut for Hamburg at 18 and, in total, played 78 times for the club. In the summer of 2013, Son moved to Hamburg's Bundesliga rivals, Bayer Leverkusen. He helped the team qualify for the Champions League and the following season scored five times as Leverkusen reached the round of 16. In the summer of 2015, Son made the move to England to play for Tottenham Hotspur.
Son was fantastic but it was a team effort. Mauricio Pochettino, talking after Son's goals give Spurs victory against Middlesbrough.
The most expensive Asian players of all time.
When Son Heung-min arrived at Tottenham he became the most expensive Asian player in football history. Here are some other big transfer deals involving Asian players:
|Son Heung-min||Bayer Leverkusen (Germany) to Tottenham Hotspur (England)||£22M|
|Hidetoshi Nakata||AS Roma (Italy) to Parma (Italy)||£18M|
|Shinji Kagawa||Borussia Dortmund (Germany) to Manchester Utd (England)||£16M|
|Shinji Okazaki||Mainz (Germany) to Leicester City (England)||£8M|
|Ki Sung-yeung||Celtic (Scotland) to Swansea City (England)||£7M|
If at first you don't succeed......
Son arrived at White Hart Lane, the home of Tottenham Hotspur, as the most expensive Asian player in football history so expectations were high. However, Son's first season at Tottenham wasn't a total success. He started only 13 Premier League matches and only scored four goals. It took time for him to settle into life in the UK and life in the Premier League. Last summer, Son asked the Spurs manager, Mauricio Pochettino, if he could leave the club so he could play more football. Pochetinno convinced Son to stay and the player, the manager and the fans are very happy to see his improved performances this season.
I wanted to ask the manager to play more. Every player wants to play games. He has given me a chance and I am very grateful to him. I am very happy now. He was very honest with me. Son Heung-min.
Why might Son have to leave Spurs?
One thing that could stop Son achieving all his goals with Spurs is military service. Military service is time spent working in the army, navy or air force, and in South Korea it is mandatory. All men in South Korea must complete 21 months of military service before they are 28 years old. Son is now 24 years old and will have to complete military service in the next few years, which may interrupt his playing career. However, exemptions are possible. In the past, footballers have been given exemptions (official permission not to take part) if they win something with the national team. Son got to the final of the AFC Asian Cup and the quarter-finals at the Olympics in Brazil and he is an important part of the national team with 49 caps. Son will have chances to earn an exemption at the Asian Games in 2018 and the Olympics in 2020, but if South Korea don't do well in those competitions, he will be required to join up with the South Korean army.
How much Football English did you learn?
There was a lot of football vocabulary in this article. Try the quiz below and test your understanding of football vocabulary. You can find all the answers in the text above.
What do you think?
Son Heung-min is the most expensive Asian footballer. Who is the most expensive footballer from your continent? Who is the most expensive player from your country?
Do you think Son can become a key player for Tottenham this season? Will Spurs do well in the Champions League?
Is military service mandatory in your country? Do you think it is a good idea?