The Son ain’t gonna shine any more, at least not for Tottenham Hotspur over the next few weeks while Son Heung-Min is away captaining South Korea at the 2019 Asian Cup.
“Sonny” has travelled to the United Arab Emirates for the tournament after Sunday’s 1-0 defeat to Manchester United at Wembley.
He joins the squad ahead of their final group match against China on Wednesday, and may well miss Spurs’ next five matches should Korea make it all the way through to the final in Abu Dhabi.
With reference to his favoured shirt number for club and country, here are seven solid reasons why we are all going to miss Son in his absence.
That rich vein of form
Having taken a while to get going this season, Son has been in fine fettle since mid-December having amassed nine goals and six assists in his last 11 appearances at club level.
Spurs must be galled to think that their man might be continuing his impressive hot streak out in the UAE rather than the Premier League but then, he IS basically the king of Asian football.
Sonny has been named ‘Best Footballer in Asia’ for the fourth time. #COYS
— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) January 5, 2019
All those sweet, sweet fantasy football points
Given that form, it’s no surprise that Son has been a fantasy goldmine in recent weeks, scoring 113.7 points in ESPN Fantasy Football over his past five Premier League games.
What’s more, he’s listed as a midfielder (despite clearly playing as a forward for many years), so you can include him in your side and still pick two forwards.
His impeccable manners
Having already missed a chunk of the 2018-19 domestic campaign due to international commitments — ie, leading South Korea to gold at the Asian Games — Son felt it necessary to apologise to just about everybody once it was confirmed he’d be departing the camp again.
“Of course I feel very sorry because I miss already in September,” Son said after scoring in a victory over Cardiff City on New Year’s Day.
“I feel sorry for my teammates, the fans and the coaching staff. It’s difficult. Sometimes you think it’s a bit sad, but it is also important for my country.”
It’s okay, Sonny. On behalf of all mankind, we forgive you. Now go and do what you have to do.
— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) January 10, 2019
His loyal fans
Not many players can say they’ve received a special beret-clad placard tribute at Wembley, can they?
Social media superiority
“The name’s Son… Heung-Min, Son.”
Seriously, what other footballer what would announce an endorsement deal (for a product they clearly will barely use) by vowing “I will try my best” for their new sponsor?
We’ll definitely miss this imperious level of Instagram gold.
Some love them, some loathe them, but the intricate handshake routines that Son has choreographed with Dele Alli have become a staple at Spurs over the last year or so.
.@Dele_Alli and Son Heung-Min have mastered the art of the handshake.
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) 29 June 2017
That winning smile
Regardless of who scores for Spurs — be it him or one of his teammates — nobody ever looks more positively overjoyed at the sight of the ball rippling the opposing net than Son Heung-Min.
This is an indisputable fact over which we are singularly unwilling to argue.
If South Korea reach the Asian Cup final on Feb. 1, Son will not feature back in English football until, at the earliest, Tottenham’s home game against Leicester on Feb. 10, or perhaps even the Champions League round-of-16 first leg against Dortmund at Wembley three days later. That’s less than a month to wait, if it’s any comfort.