Lucas Moura believes Son Heung-min's barren spell for Tottenham was "bothering him a lot" but insists the South Korean's influence extends far beyond his goals.

Son failed to find the net in Spurs' opening six Premier League matches of the season before hitting a hat-trick as a substitute against Leicester City before the international break.

Prior to that, Son was disappointed with his impact in the team and made no secret of his frustration, saying that until his treble he felt he had been disappointing his colleagues.

"It's on him. 'Letting the team down' is a very strong phrase. I don't particularly analyse the goals or only the numbers, I see what the guy contributes to the team during the 90 minutes," Moura said.

"Even a striker can contribute a lot throughout the game and not score any goals or do any assists. Son is a very dynamic guy, he bothers the opposing defender a lot, he's always running, he's always moving behind the defender's back and that opens up a lot of space for the other attackers.

"So, he is a very important guy even when he doesn't score. Of course, there is this personal pressure on him, he puts a lot of pressure on himself.

"We end up feeling that, because we see how much he wanted to score a goal, how much he wanted to score the first time this season, and we end up trying to help even more. But he's a very important guy for the team even when he doesn't score."

Any concern regarding Son's impact in front of goal has decreased following his flurry against Leicester, which left Moura delighted for his team-mate.

"I was very happy for him. Talking about him off the pitch, he's amazing, a great friend that football gave me, loved by everyone," Moura told Stats Perform.

"On the pitch, I don't even need to talk about his quality. We know that for a guy like him who is used to scoring goals, staying a few games without scoring goals is difficult, the pressure comes, the press comments, the buzz of the crowd, and I believe it was bothering him a lot.

"And he felt relieved with three goals, three amazing goals in all his qualities, in his characteristic. He is a fundamental player for the team, a guy who really makes a difference, and I hope he continues like that now, scoring goals every game to help us."

Son breaking his duck against Leicester may be of concern to Arsenal before Saturday's north London derby, with the 30-year-old having managed four goals and two assists in his last five games against the Gunners.

Tottenham forward Lucas Moura has been hugely impressed by compatriot Gabriel Jesus following his excellent start to life at Arsenal.

The two Brazilians will face off in Saturday's north London derby, which carries additional importance as a win for Antonio Conte's Spurs side would see them leapfrog the Gunners to go top of the Premier League.

To secure a win, Spurs will need to keep Jesus at bay, which might be far from an easy task considering he has scored four goals and contributed three assists in seven league appearances since joining from Manchester City.

While the pair will be rivals on Saturday, Moura has been impressed by how striker Jesus has excelled up to now in Mikel Arteta's side.

"The kid started to score and doesn't stop. First on the personal side, on the friendship side, I'm very happy for him. He is a very deserving boy, of great quality," Moura told Stats Perform.

"He left a big club and went to Arsenal, and he's doing very well there. The whole team is doing very well. Arsenal has been playing very well. Without a doubt, it will be a very good match for the fans to watch."

The clash at Emirates Stadium presents a stern test for Spurs, with the Gunners winning their last two at home against Spurs, but Moura is confident his side can compete for a win.

Arsenal are unbeaten in their last 11 against Spurs at home in the Premier League, since a 3-2 loss in November 2010, but Spurs sense a chance to end that long wait for derby away-day success.

"It's going to be a very interesting game and we have to prepare well. It's a direct fight, against a rival, so it's going to be a tough game," Moura said. "Even more so at their stadium. But I think we have the quality to get there and fight for the three points.

"It's the kind of match that every player likes to play, every fan likes to watch, full of Brazilians on the pitch, and we'll see what happens."

Lucas Moura is confident Tottenham can fight for the Premier League title this season under Antonio Conte, claiming "this is the year" to mount a challenge.

Spurs stand unbeaten in the first seven Premier League matches of the season and can move top of the standings on Saturday if they beat rivals Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium.

The north London duo, alongside defending champions Manchester City, have led the charge in the early months of the campaign, with the likes of Liverpool, Chelsea and Manchester United encountering issues.

City stand as the favourites in the eyes of many, with Spurs and the Gunners' credentials still being debated, but Moura is insistent his side will be in the running this year.

"To be quite honest, of all the seasons I've been here, I think this is the one we have the best chance, this is the one we have the greatest expectation," he told Stats Perform.

"I think we can [challenge for the title] because of the quality of the squad, the quality of the coach and the team as a whole.

"The squad has strengthened in these years and has been getting stronger on the national stage and on the world stage.

"Tottenham today are a great power in football.

"We have a very qualified squad. So, I believe that of all the years I've been here, this is the year we're closest to the title.

"We know it's very difficult, the Premier League is the most competitive league in the world. There are many teams that are strong this year, so we know about the competition.

"But I think we can manage to fight for the title."

Moura made it clear that a trophy is necessary for the season to represent success for Spurs, particularly with the club having not lifted silverware since winning the League Cup back in 2008.

"I can speak for myself personally, but I believe it's a collective thought - I think a successful season would be winning a title," he added.

"A team like ours, which has the structure it has, the investment it has, the stars it has, not only as a player but as a coach as well, going so long without winning a title means winning the trophy this year would be a very positive point.

"With the other teams, with everything they've conquered in the last few years, winning a title would be fantastic for us."

A Tottenham side deprived of the services of star man Harry Kane fought back after two Hakim Ziyech goals to earn a 2-2 draw with Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.

Goals either side of half-time from Ziyech gave Chelsea a well-deserved two-goal lead but Lucas Moura and Steven Bergwijn cancelled out the Blues' advantage with second-half finishes of their own.

Having paraded their Champions League trophy in front of the near-capacity crowd prior to kick-off, Chelsea got off to an emphatic start with Ziyech blasting in low from the edge of the area to capitalise on Lucas' laziness in possession.

Timo Werner thought he had added a second after rounding Pierluigi Gollini, though the offside flag denied him – with no VAR in operation, the Germany forward could not argue with the decision, despite seemingly looking onside.

Tottenham, who were still without the absent Kane amid his apparent desire to leave, named a strong starting-11, including Son Heung-Min and Dele Alli, but fell two behind when Ziyech drilled in a second just two minutes after the break.

Lucas responded for Nuno Espirito Santo's side, netting a third in pre-season courtesy of a fortuitous looping deflection off Antonio Rudiger wrong-footing Edouard Mendy.

Bergwijn levelled things up 14 minutes later with a thumping finish past Mendy after smart link-up play down the left flank by Moura and Son.

Having dominated for large periods the draw may frustrate Chelsea, who next face Villarreal in the European Super Cup on August 11, while Tottenham round-off their pre-season preparations against Arsenal three days before.

A brace from Hakim Ziyech had Chelsea seemingly coasting to victory at Stamford Bridge before Tottenham fought back to earn a 2-2 pre-season draw on Wednesday.

Goals either side of half-time from Ziyech gave Chelsea a well-deserved two-goal lead but Lucas Moura and Steven Bergwijn cancelled out the Blues' advantage with second-half finishes of their own.

Having paraded their Champions League trophy in front of the near-capacity crowd prior to kick-off, Chelsea got off to an emphatic start with Ziyech blasting in low from the edge of the area to capitalise on Lucas' laziness in possession.

Timo Werner thought he had added a second after rounding Pierluigi Gollini, though the offside flag denied him – with no VAR in operation, the Germany forward could not argue with the decision, despite seemingly looking onside.

Tottenham, who were still without the absent Harry Kane, named a strong starting-11, including Son Heung-Min and Dele Alli, but fell two behind when Ziyech drilled in a second just two minutes after the break.

Lucas responded for Nuno Espirito Santo's side, netting a third in pre-season courtesy of a fortuitous looping deflection off Antonio Rudiger wrong-footing Edouard Mendy.

Bergwijn levelled things up 14 minutes later with a thumping finish past Mendy after smart link-up play down the left flank by Moura and Son.

Having dominated for large periods the draw may frustrate Chelsea, who next face Villarreal in the European Super Cup on August 11, while Tottenham round-off their pre-season preparations against Arsenal three days before.

Jose Mourinho is already plotting his moves in his first transfer window at Roma, where he will take charge at the end of the season.

The Portuguese reportedly is hoping to bring players he already knows to Serie A.

Could a pair of Red Devils and Spurs be headed to the Italian capital? 

 

TOP STORY – MOURINHO EYES FAMILIAR FACES

Jose Mourinho may turn to his Premier League connections to bolster his first Roma side. 

Manchester United pair Nemanja Matic and David de Gea are among the players with Old Trafford legacies on Mourinho's wish list, according to the Daily Mirror and Todofichajes. 

Among more recent Mourinho pupils, Eric Dier and Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg are among the Spurs players who stand as possibilities, says Corriere dello Sport. 

Football London also linked Erik Lamela and Lucas Moura with possible Roma moves as former Tottenham head coach Mourinho prepares to replace Paulo Fonseca ahead of the 2021-22 season.

 

ROUND-UP  

- Corriere dello Sport reports Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain are eyeing Napoli star Fabian Ruiz and Lazio's Sergej Milinkovic-Savic. Spain international Fabian has been heavily linked with Madrid, Barcelona and Atletico Madrid. Fellow midfielder Milinkovic-Savic, meanwhile, continues to be linked with the likes of Inter, Juventus, United and PSG.

Yves Bissouma could be headed to Manchester City as a replacement for Fernandinho, the Daily Star claims. City are said to be confident they can strike a £30million deal for the 24-year-old Brighton and Hove Albion midfielder. The Daily Express, however, has Arsenal leading the fight for the Mali international, with TottenhamWest Ham and Everton also potential landing spots. 

Chelsea may bring back striker Armando Broja on a lucrative contract after loaning the 19-year-old to Eredivisie outfit Vitesse Arnhem this term, Fabrizio Romano says, but other big clubs are circling as well.

- Juventus centre-back Giorgio Chiellini is considering a move to MLS after his contract ends in June, Calciomercato reports. 

Miralem Pjanic could leave Barcelona as Sport claims the midfield outcast attracts interest from the likes of Chelsea and Inter

- Barca are considering the idea of allowing Francisco Trincao to leave on loan amid interest from Milan and Roma, according to Calciomercato. 

- RMC Sport says Milan have reached an agreement in principle to sign Lille goalkeeper Mike Maignan at the end of the season. It comes amid doubts over the future of star Gianluigi Donnarumma, who is set to become a free agent. Yet to renew, Donnarumma has been linked with Juve, Tottenham, Chelsea and United.

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