Ahead of the Fulham game, Son Heung-min has been receiving praise from overseas media.
On the 23rd (KST), soccer media outlet FourFourTwo analyzed Son’s statistics on its video channel, saying, “Son is not getting the recognition he deserves,” and “to give him the proper praise.”
“His greatness lies in his ability to create chances,” they said, pointing out that his ability to create chances is very advanced. The article then broke down the number of chances he created by season and ranked him against other strikers in the league.
“Since joining Tottenham in 2015, Son has been ranked 290th (0), 42nd (6), 19th (9), 72nd (5), and 8th (12) in chances created (from 2015/16 to 2019/20),” he said, comparing Son’s past role to his current one.
“In the past, when he played alongside Dele Alli, Harry Kane, and Christian Eriksen, Son played as a left winger in a 4-2-3-1 formation. In that formation, Heung-min played more like a 4-2-4, with Dele Alli dropping to the left flank and Kane in the center of the attack.”
With Son playing the role of a striker with Kane as a finisher, the ‘DESK line’ inevitably created fewer chances, which led to the stigma of uncreative passing.토스카지노
The outlet went on to analyze Son’s stats this season compared to his stats in the 2022/23 season, when he was struggling, and concluded that Son had suddenly made a huge improvement.
According to FBlev, a site specializing in soccer statistics, Son was in the bottom percentile of all wingers and strikers in the Premier League last season. Until last season, the presence of Harry Kane meant that the winger had to create chances, but the quality of his passes and the number of attempts were not good.
This season, however, Son Heung-min’s passing quality has improved dramatically despite Kane’s departure, and ‘FourFourTwo’ called it an “amazing improvement,” explaining that “there is not much difference in the numbers recorded in 90 minutes, but considering the level of the Premier League (the world’s top league), a couple of points can be enough to change the ranking according to the percentages.
What’s more, his SCA (live ball passes), a metric that looks at the creation of shot opportunities through passing, is tops among all strikers this season.
This is an impressive increase considering that last season, he only managed 2.31 per 90 minutes, which was around league average. “Son’s increase in SCA stats is bizarre, given that his role has changed from a winger who creates chances to a striker who needs to take them and finish them.” The player who is supposed to be a finisher is actually a good passer of chances. This means that although Son is a striker, he is an all-around attacker.
This means that Tottenham’s attacking tactics will be more varied. It means that he can create space and opportunities for his teammates, rather than finishing every attack with his ‘nails’.
An example of this is the Son-Heung-min-Brennan Johnson combination in the 38th minute against Arsenal in the sixth round of the 2023/24 English Premier League last September.
At the time, Dejan Kluczewski was driving the ball down the Arsenal right flank, but Son Heung-min was behind the front line despite being a frontline striker.
As Kluczewski entered the right half-space (the space between the flanks and the center), Son was a beat slower than Kluczewski and was able to get past him with a quick burst of pace before receiving the ball on the edge of the box inside the Arsenal penalty area. From there, a tactical move was made to play a smart cutback pass to Johnson, who was waiting in the center of the box, for Johnson to finish with a shot.
It was very encouraging to see Son Heung-min not take the initiative to finish, but to break the defense at an unexpected time, penetrate, and cut back.
Son’s positioning was also commendable.
His goal in the 42nd minute of the first half was a highlight. The goal, which came off a pass from James Maddison, was a combination of Maddison’s dribble down the left side and Son’s positioning in the penalty box. Maddison drove the ball in from the left, but Son didn’t ask for a quick central connection. Arsenal central defenders William Saliba and Gabriel Martinelli were in between him and Maddison.
As the two central defenders moved closer to the left post to block Maddison’s shot, Son was able to slip in on the rebound and successfully connect with the ball in a tight space.
Son wasted no time afterward, beating three Arsenal defenders and even Arsenal goalkeeper David Raya with a precise finish to tie the game at 1-1.
“Heung-min was able to take advantage of the defender’s advancement at the last second to move further into the box,” said FourFourTwo, “and his positioning ability to retain possession of the ball at that moment was amazing.” He also noted that when Heung-min took the shot to beat the Arsenal defender, he was only a few centimeters away from the ball and the Arsenal defender’s feet, so he was able to get it into a tight space.
From a tactical standpoint, Son’s move to the top of the pitch is also beneficial to the team’s chances.
“He can play on the flanks or in the center,” Tottenham manager Anzhi Postecoglou said after the fourth round match against Burnley in September, adding that Son is “the most suitable resource in terms of the team’s tactics at the moment.”
Son is currently third in the league’s scoring charts with six goals.
Manchester City’s Elling Holland is first with nine goals and Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah is second with seven. However, Heung-min is different from the top two in that he hasn’t scored a single goal from the penalty spot this season. Holland has scored one goal from the penalty spot and Salah has scored three goals from the penalty spot.