Son Heung-Min is one of the best players in the Premier League, according to his team-mate Jan Vertonghen. The South Korea international covered for the loss of Tottenham’s headline pair against Dortmund with his fifth goal since their absence.
Vertonghen believes the South Korea international has been galvanised by the injuries to Harry Kane and Dele Alli and proved himself as an “outstanding” player for Tottenham. Son scored his fifth goal since the loss of the England pair in the 3-0 Champions League win over Borussia Dortmund on Wednesday.
He missed two matches due to participating in the Asian Cup but has returned to keep Spurs’ season alive in both the Premier League and in Europe. Vertonghen, who teed up Son for the opener against Dortmund before slamming home the second, is delighted to see the 26-year-old finally get the recognition he deserves.
“In a way, you get that, because everyone knows how big of a player Harry is, how big of a player Dele is, so important for us, and to be fair we struggled a bit to kill games early in the Premier League, but we gave a chance to other players, the biggest example obviously is Sonny who has stepped up and scored so many goals since Harry got injured,” he told reporters.
“I can think of a couple more, Fernando Llorente, another massive goal, and yeah, gives us the opportunity to see other people.” With both players having resumed training, Kane is expected to return from his ankle injury in time to face Burnley on February 23 while Alli should be available to take on Dortmund in the second leg.
Upon the pair’s return, Son is likely to be shifted back into a wide role which he has occupied for much of his Tottenham career. And Belgium international Vertonghen has been astounded by Son’s versatility. “I’ve played with some great players and against some great players, and Sonny is special, he’s so humble and I think that you underestimate that because of the work he puts in, then his quality, outstanding left foot, right foot,” added the 31-year-old.
“He can play striker, left wing, right wing, he can play as a 10, he played as a wing-back here, so we feel each other there, but no, he’s an outstanding player. I’m not going to say he’s at the level of whoever, but he’s one of the best in the Premier League.”
One of the refreshing characteristics of Son’s success has been the enjoyment spread across his face during high-pressure scenarios. And Vertonghen has revealed the whole Spurs squad feed off his enthusiasm. “I’ve seen him stop smiling… I’m not going to say when! But, no, he’s a very happy guy,” he said. “He’s so loved in the dressing room. He gets on with everyone and you can see why, he’s a great player to have around.”