South Korea forward Son Heung-min joins Tottenham
LONDON (AP) — South Korea forward Son Heung-min secured his long-desired move to the Premier League by signing for Tottenham on Friday, pledging to be “bold and daring” in his attempts to lift the club back into the top echelons of the English game.
In need of a goal scorer to supplement star striker Harry Kane, Spurs turned to one of the poster boys of Asian football after being impressed by his record during a five-year spell in Germany with Hamburg and more recently Bayer Leverkusen.
Son will become the second South Korean to play for Spurs — after full back Lee Young-pyo — once he obtains a work permit and international clearance to complete a move for a reported 18 million pounds ($27.7 million).
“My goal has always been to play in the Premier League and I have a great opportunity to do that now with Tottenham — I am really happy about this,” said Son, who signed a five-year deal.
“I am also very pleased and honored to work together with good players such as Harry Kane, Christian Eriksen and all the players at Spurs. I’d like to help them perform and, together with them, make our team even more successful.”
Spurs are rebuilding their strike force this summer, having bought Clinton Njie from Lyon and sold Roberto Soldado to Villarreal. Another striker, Emmanuel Adebayor, doesn’t appear to be part of manager Mauricio Pochettino’s plans.
Son, a skilful and speedy forward who has scored 11 goals in 44 games for South Korea, can play as an attacking midfielder or as a second striker. He scored 29 goals in 87 appearances for Leverkusen over two years, helping the team qualify for the Champions League in both seasons, and has scored 10 or more goals in the Bundesliga in each of the past three seasons.
“Bold and daring — this is how I like to try to play,” Son told Spurs TV. “I’ve played many games already and gathered a lot of experience for my age. That makes me play better and score goals.”
Spurs has had a tough start to the Premier League, picking up just two points from three games.
Kane, who was the revelation of English football last season, is yet to get off the mark and Pochettino has been searching for the player to make Spurs tick. Son could be the one.
“There are always a lot of players around the world that you can sign,” Pochettino said. “But it’s like when you are in love with a lady — there are a lot of women around the world but you want only one.
“For us, it is important to add the right profile, someone who can play under our style and our philosophy.”