The South Korean star isn’t expected to depart Spurs anytime soon after a strong start to the season
Jose Mourinho is convinced Son Heung-min wants to end his career at Tottenham and is therefore unconcerned about delayed contract negotiations.
Son has already spent over five years at Spurs and has been a key player for the majority of that time. His goal against Arsenal in the recent north London derby saw him reach double figures for a fifth successive Premier League season.
The difference this term, however, is he has reached that point in just 12 matches and also got four assists, while his haul of 18 league goals under Mourinho is remarkably almost double his expected goals (xG) rating of 9.3.
His relationship with Harry Kane has been particularly notable, as the pair have already combined for 12 goals in the Premier League this term – that is one less than the record for a single campaign (Alan Shearer and Chris Sutton in 1994-95).
Son is contracted to Spurs until 2023, meaning there is no rush for the club to tie the 28-year-old down, though rumours in recent months have suggested a new deal is desired by both parties.
Mourinho is not expecting that to come soon, though, given the financial implications of the coronavirus pandemic – not that he is overly concerned.
“No, I don’t have any news,” Mourinho said when asked about talks over fresh terms for the winger, who on Tuesday won the South Korean Footballer of the Year award once again.
“To be honest, this instability around society, clubs and football…we have 2,000 people [in the stands], we are expecting more people, more income certainly a couple of weeks later, then 2,000 goes back zero people a couple of weeks later.
“I’m not a money man but wouldn’t like to be an owner or CEO of one of the big clubs with all this instability. How can you sign a new contract with a player?
“You don’t know what’s going to happen next season, you don’t know if you can offer the player a better contract. I think it’s a very strange moment, I just trust Sonny and Mr. [Daniel] Levy [Tottenham chairman], I know both want to stay, if possible, for life and until the end of careers, so I see Son signing a new contract here, but I don’t believe – I don’t even ask – for something to happen now because it’s not the right moment.”
Like Son, Kane has been essential to Spurs’ rise to the top of the Premier League, with the England star boasting an incredible record of nine goals and 10 assists in 12 appearances.
Kane has also scored 18 goals (excluding penalties) in the Premier League since Mourinho took charge, outperforming his xG figure by 5.1.
Mourinho has been put under pressure to “manage” Kane’s minutes given his importance at international level with England as well, though it does not look likely national team boss Gareth Southgate will be receiving too many favours in this regard over the coming months.
“Yeah, tomorrow he [Kane] is not playing, so no risk,” a sarcastic Mourinho said ahead of Wednesday’s clash with champions Liverpool. “I rest him against Leicester [City] as well, so no risk.”
When pressed for a serious response, Mourinho added: “I want to win matches and if I want to win matches, I have to play my best players. If there is an alert of something not going well, of course we have to make decisions.
“We have lots of people working very hard on detection of problems [injuries], from the medicals to nutritionists and analysts. We have lots of people working with every player.
“I promise, when players are at an orange light, we are going to protect them, but when players are on green light and feel fine, then great, but injuries sometimes happen in amazing moments even when there are no signs of anything.
“Our calendar is hard. I manage Harry where I feel I could. He didn’t play much in the Europa League matches.