Tottenham forward Son Heung-min has revealed he almost left the club following a difficult start to life in London, but he’s now the “happiest guy in the world.”
The South Korean international is in the midst of arguably his best season for the Premier League side, notching 16 goals and eight assists in his 34 appearances across all competitions for the club.
However, he wasn’t always the toast of north London and, speaking to Standard Sport, he revealed his initial desire to return to Germany – explaining it was manager Mauricio Pochettino who convinced him to remain at the club.
“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 began.
“The gaffer trusted me and I am so grateful. He made my dream come true. I am more than grateful [to him] — it is difficult to say. I have worked four years with the gaffer. It is just amazing.”
“I think I am the most happiest guy in the world, especially in the Premier League. It is an honour to play in the Premier League. When I see this award, I know I can’t sleep tonight.”
The pair were the biggest winners at Thursday night’s London Football Awards, with Son referencing his success in winning the Premier League Player of the Year award, whilst Pochettino won the Manager of the Year prize.
And the Argentine believes Son’s success points towards patience being a key, yet increasingly rare quality in football nowadays.
“The adaptation is always so difficult,” Pochettino said. “Today, patience in football is difficult. But always it is about time. You can learn a lot from these difficult moments. 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 is very easy to work with him. He is very professional, he is a happy boy that translates that energy to the team. His potential and skill are amazing.”
Ole Gunnar overtakes Pochettino as favourite to become the Man United manager full time. Obviously! 路♂️ https://t.co/r32XuoJh9d
— 90min (@90min_Football) March 1, 2019
Son will need to be at his very best this weekend as Spurs come up against Arsenal in the north London derby, as the Lilywhites look to put back-to-back defeats to Burnley and Chelsea behind them.
The South Korean is keen to put those games in the past though, adding: “The last two games weren’t what we expect but it has passed. Arsenal is important because, after two losses, we need to show our character.
“For our fans as well, we have to make them happy and show how good we are. We don’t have to worry about it, we just have to enjoy [playing] on the pitch and show what we can.”
“We don’t have to be negative after these two games. We have to just show again what we can do. There are 10 more games. We try to get as many points as possible, then we will see what happens.”