Tim Sherwood believes that Son Heung-Min can make the difference when Tottenham Hotspur face Ajax in the second leg of their Champions League semi-final, per Sky Sports’ The Debate.
Spurs fell to a 1-0 defeat against the Dutch giants at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Tuesday evening.
Donny van de Beek scored the only goal of the game, crowning a dazzling passing move with an ice-cool finish in the first half.
The result means that Spurs will have to win in Amsterdam to have any chance of qualifying for the final, where they could face either Liverpool or Barcelona.
But Mauricio Pochettino’s men will be boosted by the return of Son next week, with the South Korea international having missed the first leg through suspension.
And Sherwood feels that the 26-year-old could hold the keys to any potential success in the Netherlands, with his directness likely to provoke panic in Ajax’s backline, such is the club’s desire to keep the ball.
Speaking to The Debate (03:45), he said: “Son’s going to be a massive plus for them in the return leg, hopefully, he gets through the next game in the Premier League, which is a vital game as well, they need to keep winning and getting maximum points in their league campaign.
“But there is space in behind, he can use his pace to get in behind. He’ll be looking at that game there, we saw him in the stand, he’ll be licking his lips, thinking they’re a fantastic side on the ball, out of possession they do give you chances and I think that he will capitalise on that.
“It’s not dead, the game is certainly not dead, Tottenham can go over there and they can score.”
Next week’s game is going to be a completely different kettle of fish.
One feels that Spurs did well to escape the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium with only a one-goal deficit, such was the dominance of the Dutch side in the first half.
But with both Moussa Sissoko and Son fit to start next week, Pochettino has far more attacking weapons at his disposal than he had on Tuesday.
Son has been in excellent form this season, too, and has scored 20 goals in all competitions.
With the club likely to set up to play on the counter next week, his pace going forward will be vital and will offer a completely different threat to the one posed by Fernando Llorente, the lumbering striker who huffed and puffed his way through the first leg.
Ajax, then, dare not underestimate the Premier League giants.