Tottenham Hotspur are currently enjoying a fine, unbeaten start to the new season with three wins and two draws thus far, although one notable point of concern has been the form of the typically reliable Heung-min Son.
The South Korea international had been in sparkling form last term as he ended the 2021/22 campaign with seven assists and a remarkable haul of 23 goals in the Premier League alone, with the latter seeing him take home the division’s Golden Boot as a result, alongside Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah.
An “unreal” talent – in the words of presenter Adam Smith – the 30-year-old has been a leading figure in north London since his arrival from Bayer Leverkusen back in 2015, having since scored 93 goals and provided 47 assists in 237 league games.
The goal contributions have, however, dried up in what’s been an underwhelming start to the new campaign for the £192k-per-week sensation, with no goals and a solitary assist to his name in the five league games thus far.
As pundit Paul Robinson stated, the £67.5m-rated menace has been “very quiet” in recent weeks for the Lilywhites, with manager Antonio Conte potentially left with a decision to make ahead of this afternoon’s clash with newly-promoted Fulham.
While partner-in-crime Harry Kane has been his typically ruthless self in front of goal – with four goals in just five outings – Son has been on the periphery of games of late, failing to make a telling impact in the final third.
The most recent clash with rivals West Ham United saw the one-time Hamburg man particularly underwhelm, as he failed to register a single shot and was restricted to just 35 touches in his 90-minute display – with that figure less than ‘keeper Hugo Lloris (45).
Despite his struggles in that 1-1 draw, however, the 100-cap gem was still spared the axe by Conte, with the serial-winning Italian opting to withdraw fellow forward Dejan Kulusevski instead late in the second half.
It has perhaps an easier switch to make substituting the youngest and newest member of the Tottenham frontline in Kulusevski, although the Sweden international perhaps deserves better having chipped in with one goal and two assists so far this term.
Should the Spurs boss wish to make an attacking change to his lineup against Marco Silva’s side it should well be Son that gives way instead, with summer signing Richarlison no doubt champing at the bit to earn his first start of the season.
The beauty of signing a figure like the polarising Brazilian was the fact that it would allow the former Chelsea boss the chance to ease the reliance on the Kane-Son partnership and also provide more intense competition for that pair, particularly if they are underperforming.
Not that the Korean superstar should be axed for the long-term, but a welcome break could well be needed to take him out of the firing line, with Conte now having that luxury of being able to turn to a quality presence like Richarlison to fill the void.
Who knows, a drop to the bench could well be the jolt that Son needs to kickstart his season.