Tottenham Hotspur will still be without Heung-min Son when they return to Premier League action against Aston Villa later this evening…
The talismanic 28-year-old was substituted in the first half of the North London derby after picking up a hamstring injury and did not feature in midweek as Spurs embarrassingly crashed out of the Europa League.
In fact, respected journalist Alasdair Gold even suggested that there was a chance Son could feature against Villa, so it’ll be a blow to Spurs to not have the Korean star available.
However, it is rather telling that the South Korean sensation has now withdrawn from international duty ahead of the upcoming break, after initially being called up by his national team.
The fact that Son will not play a competitive game for a few weeks will come as a huge blow to Mourinho and his chances of putting an end to what has been an absolute nightmare of a spell for Tottenham.
Son is one of Spurs’ most important players, having directly contributed towards 46.8% of their goals in the Premier League (13 scored, nine assists), via WhoScored.
Only Harry Kane has delivered more, with 16 goals and 13 assists to his name, and a lot of these involvements are the dangerous duo combining. Indeed, the pair are on for a monumental year in the English top-flight.
Earlier this month, they combined for the 14th time this season to break a 25-year-old Premier League record for goal contributions held by Chris Sutton and Alan Shearer.
Football Insider pundit Danny Mills believes that not having Son is a big blow for Spurs, he said: “When you talk about attitude, he sets the tone,” before adding: “He’s that leader, not from being vocal but his attitude shows people.”
This very much echoed the thoughts of Dean Windass, who exclusively told Football FanCast ahead of Thursday night’s match that it is a “massive blow to Tottenham” when the 28-year-old is absent.
Erik Lamela is also serving a suspension after his red card against the Gunners, so it leaves Mourinho with a choice of Steven Bergwijn, Lucas Moura or Gareth Bale.
The aforementioned trio have only scored eight goals between them, some five short of Son’s individual returns, and they all too have their own doubts.
Moura has been playing in the no.10 role, rather than out wide, so there’s a chance a decision has to be made over Dele Alli’s involvement if the Brazilian reverted back to the flank.
Bergwijn is heavily out of form and has not scored since June 2020, when he bagged the opener against Manchester United in Spurs’ first game of ‘Project Restart.’
Whilst Bale underwhelmed at Arsenal, resulting in him being substituted after just 57 minutes. Nor could he make an impact on Thursday night despite being brought on for another hour.
You can just see how big an influence Son has on this side, so his absence against Villa tonight is certainly one huge blow Mourinho will surely be gutted that one of his star men is now in a race to be fit when the international break ends. Even if he does manage to recover, his lack of gametime could be a big worry too.
Villa could move to within one point of Spurs with a win, and that would seriously hinder their chances of making the top six, let alone the top four, as it puts another rival closer to overtaking them. Spurs need Son back fit and firing as soon as possible, so they’ll surely be worried that not only has he been ruled out of today’s gam, he’s also been deemed not fit enough to go away with his national team.
AND in other news, Mourinho must axe “exposed” Spurs liability ahead of tonight’s match…