Arsenal

“I asked Poch to allow me to leave,” says Tottenham superstar

Tottenham have grown massively since Pochettino has takenover but one of the key figures had spoken to the Argentine about leaving.

Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino and forward Son Heung-min have both been honoured at the London Football Awards. Pochettino has been named Manager of the Year whilst Son took home the Premier League Player of the Year award at the ceremony in Battersea on Thursday. But things could have been very different had the former Saints manager had not convinced the South Korean to stay.

‘Pochettino believed in me’

Son told the Evening Standard of his previous transfer thoughts after being named Premier League Player of the Year at the London Football Awards. “I came close to leaving. I went to the gaffer’s office and told him I didn’t feel comfortable and wanted to leave for Germany.”

He added on Pochettino’s show of faith, “The gaffer trusted me and I am so grateful. He made my dream come true. I am more than grateful [to him], it is difficult to say. I have worked for four years with the gaffer. It is just amazing.”

Tottenham

Son on the upcoming North-London derby

A north London derby date with Arsenal on Saturday will present Pochettino’s side with an opportunity to get back on track. Son is looking forward to another outing on the grandest of stages.The last two games weren’t what we expect but it has passed,” he added.

“Arsenal is important because, after two losses, we need to show our character. For our fans as well, we have to make them happy and show how good we are. We don’t have to worry about it, we just have to enjoy [playing] on the pitch and show what we can. I think I am the happiest guy in the world, especially in the Premier League. It is an honour to play in the Premier League.”

Author’s Take

Son Hueng-min is an incredibly weapon of the Spurs armory. The Korean has constantly evolved his game with the changing dynamics at the club. Through the last season and the earlier part of this season, Son was predominantly in the side for chance creation and ball progression. But since December, he has managed a dramatic transformation into a deadly finisher.

Tottenham
Chart comparing Son’s role in the Tottenham side
Yellow – JAN 2018 – DEC 2018
Blue – DEC 2018 – JAN 2019

Between January and December 2018, Son was averaging 2.5 successful take-ons per 90. But that has dropped significantly to 1.05 since. On the other hand, his xG and xA numbers have gone up from 0.3 to 0.61 and 0.13 to 0.21 respectively. On occasion, he has been Spurs’ most-advanced player. Willing to go beyond Kane and establish the closest thing resembling a partnership with the forward. All things considered, Spurs fans will be happy and grateful that their manager “managed” to convince him to stay and fight for the Lily Whites.

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