Son Heung-min Potential Absence: Impact on Upcoming Matches
For several weeks, Son Heung-min, the captain of Tottenham Hotspur, will not have his regular guardian on hand as he attempts to guide South Korea to yet another eagerly expected Asian Cup victory.
In the weekend’s 3-1 victory against Bournemouth, the 31-year-old concluded his career in North London with his 12th Premier League goal of the year. This victory helped Ange Postecoglou’s team win four of their previous five top-flight games. However, international success now takes precedence over a run for the top crown.
Son has already made three unsuccessful attempts to lead South Korea to Asian Cup glory—finishing third in 2011, losing the 2015 final to Australia, and experiencing heartbreak in the quarterfinals of the 2019 tournament—and the Tigers of Asia are now attempting to break a dreadful 64-year run without winning an Asian Cup.
Sports Mole examines the Tottenham games Son might miss while South Korea does well in Qatar.
South Korea’s Asian Cup group includes Bahrain, Jordan, and Malaysia. They will play their first match against Bahrain on January 15, five days before they take on a test akin to Jordan in Doha.
Son will undoubtedly miss two games for Tottenham in January as the Tigers of Asia finish their group phase schedule against Malaysia on January 25. The first of those matches is Friday’s FA Cup third-round matchup at home against Burnley.
Postecoglou has previously stated that Son won’t be available for the FA Cup match against the Clarets since the Taegeuk Warriors play Iraq in a warm-up friendly this Saturday, even though South Korea’s Asian Cup campaign doesn’t start for another 12 days.
Tottenham will play an interesting Premier League encounter against an off-colour Manchester United on January 14, one day before South Korea play their opening Group E match against Bahrain. After that, the Lilywhites will have the luxury of a 17-day break before playing Brentford on January 31.
Son would probably be ready to play the Bees if South Korea were eliminated in the group stage, but Jurgen Klinsmann’s team is a clear favourite to win their area and go to the knockout stage with a second or even a third place finish.
Son would miss that London derby if South Korea advanced as predicted. The last-16 matches take place from January 28 to January 31. The quarter finals are then scheduled for February 2 and February 3; on the latter day, Tottenham will play a lunchtime kickoff at Everton.
After that, Spurs will have a seven-day break before playing Brighton & Hove Albion on February 10. Son might be available if South Korea loses the semi-finals, which are set for February 6 and 7. Unlike the Africa Cup of Nations, the Asian Cup does not involve a third-place playoff.
The Lilywhites skipper might not return to North London until Wolverhampton Wanderers visit on February 17. If South Korea advances to the final, which is scheduled on the same day as Spurs’ match against Brighton, Tottenham would have to deal with losing Son once more.