Antonio Conte has said that Tottenham’s Son Heung-min knows he can perform ‘much better’ than he is currently doing, writes the TBR.
The South Korea international has scored in only one league game this season and in just one Champions League match too.
That is a far cry from the form which has made the £22 million man one of the most devastating attackers in the division in recent seasons.
Speaking ahead of tonight’s game with Crystal Palace, Conte said, as per Football.London, that he has no doubts about Son’s quality but the player knows he must improve.
He said: “Sonny is the first person that knows when you compare to last season, the numbers are different. We are talking about an intelligent person. The player knows very well if you are performing well or if you are performing so and so, for many reasons. Don’t forget that Sonny had this injury in his face.
“It’s important to have the coach, the staff, the team-mates to try to help you. On the other hand, you have to know that you are mature, to face the situation and then to go out of this situation with your effort. This is important because we are talking about an important player.
“We need our important players to perform well. I was a player, I know you can live different moments. For sure, Sonny has 100 per cent trust from ourselves, and his team-mates. We know he is an important player for us. The player knows that he can perform much better than the way he did until now.
“If we start to have doubts about these players, then we are in trouble, but we have zero doubts about Sonny. If you remember last season it happened the same in a period. It happened last season also for Harry Kane in a period, but we are talking about a player that the expectations are really, really high.
“For this reason, when the performances are not so high or they are not going to score, you can see this much more than other players that play as midfielders or defenders.”
Spurs need Son back to his best as soon as possible, but the unique challenges of the World Cup may have contributed to the forward looking exhausted.
He has also been performing fantastically well for Spurs for a number of years now with little to no squad rotation, and that may be taking its toll.
Or you could make the case that Son is playing a slightly different role this season, and that he will come good, especially when Spurs start playing better as a team.