HomeSon back for Tottenham despite South Korea disappointment

Son back for Tottenham despite South Korea disappointment

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Son Heung-min is available for Tottenham’s home game with Brighton tomorrow, just four days after South Korea’s exit from the Asian Cup.

Son was unable to prevent his country from losing 2-0 to Jordan in the semi-finals on Tuesday but will put that disappointment to one side by going straight back into the Spurs team for the visit of the Seagulls.

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Tottenham boss Ange Postecoglou is not surprised by Son’s commitment to the cause.

He said: “It wouldn’t surprise anyone to see him be like that.

“He was very disappointed with South Korea’s exit because they haven’t won it for quite a while. When you get to the semi-finals you feel so close. He gave everything for his nation and he didn’t leave anyone questioning his commitment to his country – he was spent by the end of it.

“I spoke to him not long after it and he was keen to come back and get amongst the boys again. It’s great to have him back here and it didn’t surprise me that he came back and wanted to train straightaway and be available – that’s why he is the person he is.”

Spurs have struggled in recent weeks with injuries and players being away on international duty but it seems the end is in sight.

Yves Bissouma is also back having represented Mali at the African Cup of Nations while Giovanni Lo Celso is closing in on a return from a hamstring problem.

Central defender Micky van de Ven has suffered with injury problems this season but the Dutchman is now fit and continuing to impress. 

In last week’s game against Brentford, he was clocked at running 23.22 miles per hour – the fastest by a player in England’s top flight since records began four years ago.

Postecoglou added: “We’d already seen his speed and his ability to recover is elite but it’s not just about running fast. Football is more than that. You have to use it the right way.

“I have been impressed with the way he’s adapted to Premier League football. He’s been up against top strikers every week. His ability to use that speed in terms of his defensive work has been outstanding.”

As is often the case with quick players, Van de Ven has suffered from hamstring problems and missed two months earlier in the season with that ailment.

Postecoglou is wary of over-thinking the issue and says it comes with the territory, adding: “You can’t think about it that way. He had the injury against Chelsea, there’s always that possibility with high performance athletes.

“We had a really good rehab programme and he hasn’t missed a beat since his return. We pushed it to the max with the turnaround between the Everton and Brentford games but he got through it.”

Jon Fisher
Jon Fisher
Jon has over 20 years' experience in sports journalism having worked at the Press Association, Goal and Stats Perform, covering three World Cups, an Olympics and numerous other major sporting events.

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