Son Shines for Spurs!
Tottenham Hotspur and South Korean forward, Son Heung-min, have been on a great run recently. Tottenham have won seven Premier League matches in a row for the first time and it's the first time Spurs have won seven consecutive matches in the top division since 1967 - that's 50 years ago! With Harry Kane injured, Son Heung Min has been having the best run of his Tottenham career. Son has scored five goals in his last six Premier League matches. Tottenham's seventh win arrived last Saturday, against Bournemouth. Spurs won the match 4-0 and it could have been more. Son scored the second goal of the afternoon. It was a fine finish after a clever run into the penalty area. Spurs are now only four points behind Chelsea in the Premier League and the title race is definitely back on. But, before getting back to the Premier League, Tottenham have the small matter of a FA Cup semi-final to play - against Chelsea! Could Tottenham take the League and Cup away from Chelsea? It will be an exciting end to the season.
Son is brilliant - he needed time to adapt his game but he is now fit and healthy and he is feeling really comfortable.
Spurs manager, Mauricio Pochettino.
Who is 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.
It's great to win. We're really happy to win 4-0 again but we just have to keep it going.
Son Heung-Min, talking after Tottenham's 4-0 win against Bournemouth.
The most expensive player 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. Pochetinno convinced Son to stay. The player, the manager and the fans are very happy to see his improved performances this season. In September, Son became the first player from Asia to win a Premier League Player of the Month Award and he now has 12 Premier League goals this season and 19 goals in total. No other player from Asia has scored as many goals in a single Premier League season. He is also on the verge of breaking two more records. If he scores one more goal this season, Son will become the highest scoring Asian player in Premier League history (overtaking ex-Manchester Utd Park Ju-Sung) and break the record for most goals in a single season by a Korean in European league.
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.
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 53 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.
Check your understanding:
What do you think?
Son Heung-min is the most expensive Asian footballer. Who is the most expensive player from your continent and country? Tell us about him.
Spurs are only four points behind Chelsea with six matches left to play. Do you think Spurs can catch Chelsea in the Premier League?
Why do you think some players decide to leave the Premier League?