Throughout Mauricio Pochettino’s five-year reign as the Tottenham Hotspur manager, the Argentine coach was not overly supported in his bid to turn Spurs into serious title contenders by Daniel Levy’s business in the transfer window.
Indeed, during his spell in north London, the 50-year-old saw the Tottenham chairman add the likes of DeAndre Yedlin, Benjamin Stambouli, Federico Fazio, Kevin Wimmer, Clinton N’Jie, Georges-Kevin N’Koudou, Vincent Janssen, Jack Clarke, Giovani Lo Celso and Tanguy Ndombele to his first team squad – none of whom have exactly gone down as legends in north London.
However, it would be unfair to say that Levy’s signings during Pochettino’s tenure always turned out to be flops, as the 60-year-old did manage to land a player who has arguably been one of Spurs’ best signings of the 21st century during the former Paris Saint-Germain manager’s spell at the club – that of the £22m addition of Son Heung-min back in the summer of 2015.
Indeed, the South Korean has been a favourite of every Tottenham manager he has worked under, with Pochettino dubbing the winger “unbelievable” back in 2018, Jose Mourinho revealing he was “in love” with the 30-year-old in 2019, Nuno Espirito Santo labelling the forward a “special player” in 2021 and Antonio Conte stating his belief that “every manager dreams” of working with a player with Son’s ability earlier this year.
And, considering his returns on the pitch over the last seven years, it is not difficult to understand why all four managers were so fond of the £67.5m-rated sensation, as Son has continuously turned in remarkable campaign after remarkable campaign ever since his arrival at Tottenham back in 2015.
Indeed, over his 334 appearances in all competitions for Spurs, the £192k-per-week attacker has scored a simply sensational 134 goals and registered an extraordinary 75 assists – averaging a direct goal involvement every 110 minutes of football played for the Lilywhites.
The 30-year-old was in particularly fine form over his 35 Premier League fixtures last season, scoring 23 goals – seeing him win the Golden Boot alongside Mohamed Salah – providing nine assists and creating ten big chances for his teammates, in addition to taking an average of 2.5 shots – 1.4 of which hit the target – making 2.1 key passes and completing 1.5 dribbles per game.
These returns saw the 100-cap international average a breathtaking SofaScore match rating of 7.50 in 2021/22, not only ranking him as Conte’s best performer in the league but also as the third-best player in the English top flight as a whole – behind only Kevin De Bruyne and Trent Alexander-Arnold.
As such, despite all of his failed transfers between 2015 and 2019, it is clear to see that Levy well and truly hit the jackpot when landing Son, as not only has the winger more than paid Tottenham’s initial £22m outlay back on the pitch, but, with his current market valuation being 207% more than his original cost, he could also earn Spurs a pretty penny in the transfer market.
However, considering just how valuable Son is to Tottenham both on and off the pitch, it would appear extremely unlikely that Conte or Levy would be willing to wave goodbye to the South Korean sensation any time soon.