EPL

Conte: Son can get even better for Spurs

By Sports Desk April 16, 2022

Tottenham coach Antonio Conte believes forward Son Heung-min can get even better – and expects him to do so before the end of the season.

Son has 17 goals and seven assists in 28 Premier League appearances this season to tie his personal-best goals tally, which he set in 2020-21.

In a run of hot form, he has six goals from his past three league fixtures, with a brace against West Ham, a goal and an assist against Newcastle United and a hat-trick against Aston Villa – with Tottenham winning the three matches by a combined score of 12-2.

Both Son and the team are benefiting from Conte's new front three, partnering the South Korea superstar and Harry Kane with Dejan Kulusevski.

Since Kulusevski's Premier League debut in February, following his January move from Juventus, he ranks third in the division for goal involvements (nine), with only Son (12) and Kane (13) ahead of him.

Yet Conte sees room for improvement for Son, who is now over the calf injury that sidelined him in the first month of the year.

"We are talking about a really good player," he said. 

"I was sure that it was normal after an injury to need a bit of time to recover [to] the best possible condition and get back again into our idea of football again. But I was sure, because Sonny for us is a really important player and at the peak of his form.

"But he can improve, and that is my expectation – that he gives us from now until the end of the season a big push, and to try to finish his season in the best possible way. 

"Don't forget, one month ago I asked my best players, my more representative players, that now the team needed this type of player to take on the more important responsibilities. That role is also important for this.

"I can only speak about Sonny in an enthusiastic way, because he is not only a top player, but he is a really good guy. He is very polite and a fantastic guy. When you speak with him, not only about football, it is good."

While he loves to see Son scoring goals, Conte emphasised his primary concern is about the team, and he would not prioritise helping his forward break records.

"Every record is important, and it is important to score three goals, but only if your team wins," he said.

"In the last game, if Sonny had scored three goals and we had lost 4-3, the player cannot be happy. The player has to think that, first of all, I am playing for the team. 

"We want to help Sonny to break every record, and it was the same with Harry Kane, but they know very well that the team comes before the individual’s goal tally.

"Our first target has to be a team target – to try to finish this season in the best possible way."

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