Antonio Conte has reiterated his full belief that Son Heung-min will turn his form around and insisted that the South Korean will ‘never be a problem’ for him.
Son’s form has increasingly come under the microscope over recent weeks, with the South Korean having just one goal contribution in eight games across all competitions so far. (Transfermarkt).
Conte has continued showing faith in the 30-year-old, who has started every single match this season.
The former Bayern Leverkusen man has, at times, cut a frustrated figure, but the Spurs boss insisted it is only natural that the forward is not happy, given his lack of goals this season.
When asked why Son’s smile has been missing over recent weeks, Conte told Football.London: “Honestly, if I have to pay attention to one smile or not during the game, it means that… I think Sonny, for sure, he is not happy because he’s not scoring but he knows very well that in every game … maybe the last game he didn’t have a chance to score but in the last games he had a lot of chances to score.
“You know very well that he is a striker and in the last season he was the top scorer in the league. It’s normal and I like that he’s a bit angry for this situation because it means that he wants to try to change it. Also because we need [him]. We are talking about Sonny and he’s a really important player for us.
“At the same time, it can happen, especially when you play massive games, you can be a bit tired mentally, also. Your body, it can happen, but I repeat: Sonny for me would be never, never a problem. I hope to have my problems like him!
“We are talking about one of the best two players that we have in our team. For sure it can happen that in some games he can’t play from the start, like Harry also, but only to protect him, to give the possibility to rest, to take care of his energy and to bring us to win.
“We are talking about players that during the game, they are decisive and we need to have these players always to be at the top.”
Conte suggested that teams are paying closer attention to Son on the back of his exploits last season and also admitted that the forward’s confidence has taken a bit of a hit due to his lack of goals.
However, the 53-year-old remarked that Son has more than enough credit in the bank with the coaching staff, his teammates and Spurs fans.
The Tottenham head coach added: “When you finish the last season top scorer, a lot of light is shone on you from opponents. If they come to play Sonny, they know he kicks on the right, kicks on the left, is faster.
“When you score a lot of goals the following season is more difficult because you are not an underdog, but are starting like you are the first top scorer up there with Mohamed Salah.
“But when you don’t [score], for sure the confidence goes a bit down, but at the same time, I think a strong player copes with this situation, faces this situation face to face and overcomes this situation.
“Again I repeat: Sonny has a lot of credit with me, with his teammates, with the fans and with the whole environment. For this reason, Sonny for me will never be a problem. Never, never.”
Spurs Web Opinion
I do not think a single Tottenham fan doubts that the floodgates will open for Son in front of goal as soon as he scores his first of the season.
So, it is not an easy choice for Conte to make between giving the South Korean the chance to open his account and playing an in-form front three in Kane, Richarlison and Kulusevski.
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