Football: Son contemplated Tottenham exit until discussion with Pochettino

Tottenham Hotspur's South Korean striker Son Heung-Min celebrates a goal.
Tottenham Hotspur's South Korean striker Son Heung-Min celebrates a goal.PHOTO: AFP

LONDON (REUTERS) - Tottenham Hotspur forward Son Heung-min wanted a transfer back to Germany after struggling in his debut season at the Premier League club but stayed put after a conversation with manager Mauricio Pochettino, the South Korea international has said.

Son moved to Tottenham from Bayer Leverkusen in 2015 and scored only four times in 28 league matches but he has since turned his fortunes around and looks set to have his best season in a Spurs shirt with 11 league goals in 22 games so far.

"I came close to leaving. I went to the gaffer's office and told him I didn't feel comfortable and wanted to leave for Germany," Son told Standard Sport in an interview.

"The gaffer trusted me and I am so grateful. He made my dream come true. I am more than grateful (to him).

"It's difficult to say. I have worked four years with the gaffer, it's just amazing."

With Harry Kane and Dele Alli both sidelined due to injuries during crucial periods this season, Son has stepped up and helped Spurs keep a firm grip on third spot in the league.

His fine form has come even with having to leave Tottenham twice for international duty, first for the Asian Games in August and then for the Asian Cup in January.

 

"Today, patience in football is difficult but always it's about time. You can learn a lot from these difficult moments," Pochettino said.

"The conversation (with Son) was not only professional, it was human. Sonny was patient. He was happy with the decision and now we are seeing his best form.

"People love him, team mates, fans. It's very easy to work with him. He's very professional... a happy boy that translates that energy to the team."

Tottenham host Arsenal in the north London derby on Saturday.