Amid a torrid of injuries to the attacking ranks, Tottenham will see a frontline player return than expected, a welcome sight for Spurs fans even if it comes with a twinge of guilt.
South Korea was eliminated from the 2019 Asian Cup in the quarterfinals after a surprising 1-0 loss to Qatar, releasing Heung-Min Son for a return to Premier League play.
[ MORE: Asian Cup quarterfinals recap, video ]
Despite the bittersweet return for Son, it’s a sight for sore Spurs fan eyes. Prolific striker Harry Kane is out until March with ankle ligament damage, while replacement striker Fernando Llorente has been terrible in his place, poking in an own-goal against Fulham in Premier League play and struggling against Chelsea in the League Cup loss. There was talk of deputizing Lucas Moura up front against the Blues after Llorente’s poor showing against Fulham, but that to this point has not materialized.
Midfielder Dele Alli is also out for significant time with a hamstring injury, while Moussa Sissoko has missed time of late with a knee injury, although the latter could be on his way back soon. Danny Rose and Serge Aurier also have struggled with injuries in recent games, with both coming off injured against Chelsea after Spurs had already used all its substitutes.
“I know many people expected big things of us. I’m so upset that I haven’t been able to produce my best,” said Son after the loss to Qatar. “It’s a reminder to us that there are no teams in Asia we can take lightly.”
Son’s return may not be in time for Saturday’s match against Crystal Palace in FA Cup play, and even if he were to return in time, Mauricio Pochettino may not want to use him after tournament play and lengthy travel, even with all the holes in the squad.