Tottenham boss Antonio Conte has warned Son Heung-min and insists the out-of-form striker is no longer fit… just six months after the Italian said he would have to be ‘crazy’ to leave the South Korean star out of the squad .
- Son Heung-min has started all seven games for Spurs so far this season
- His form is a far cry from last season, when he won the Premier League’s golden boot
- In March, Conte said he would have to be “mad” to drop Son from his squad
- But ahead of the clash with Sporting, Conte said he was no longer fit
Tottenham manager Antonio Conte has issued a warning to out-of-form striker Son Heung-min to leave the forward sweating in his place against Sporting on Tuesday night.
Sean has started all seven of Spurs’ games so far this season but is yet to find the net despite the club’s unbeaten start to the campaign.
His form is a far cry from last season, when Sean won the Premier League Golden Boot after a prolific season that heralded 28 goals for club and country in all competitions.
Out-of-form Tottenham star Son Heung-min sweats in one place to face Sporting Lisbon
It comes after Spurs manager Antonio Conte (L) admitted the South Korean is no longer fit
In March, Conte said he would have to be “crazy” to drop Son from his squad given his importance – but the emergence of Dejan Kulusevski and the £60million capture of Richarlison from Everton means the manager Tottenham is no longer solely dependent on the Korean. partnership with Harry Kane.
And speaking on Monday ahead of Tuesday night’s clash with Sporting, when asked specifically about Son’s place in his squad, Conte made it clear that his star striker is no longer intact.
Conte said: “I think when you try to build something important, when you try to build something with ambition and you try to be competitive and fight to win, you have to change old habits, otherwise it means you want to stay in balance and it means that you don’t want to have ambitions.
“For this reason all players must accept the rotation especially up front, we have four players. Especially for me it is very difficult at the moment to drop one of these four players, but I have to make the best decision for the team, but also for the players.
Sean’s form is a far cry from last season, when he won the Premier League’s Golden Boot
“Sometimes it’s better to rest and not start a game, come in and only play 20 or 30 minutes and then play the following games.
“I’m definitely here to try to change the old habit. The old habit was that players were used to playing in every game. What happened in these types of situations is that you don’t have much of a chance of winning.
You try to make the players happy, but big clubs have a big squad, a deep squad. We don’t have a big team right now, but we’ve just started trying to go down that road.
“For that reason what happens with one of these four players will be normal and you have to know that it is good for a manager like me to have these options.”
Dejan Kulusevski (L) and Richarlison (C) mean Spurs are no longer reliant on Son’s partnership with Harry Kane (R)
Conte, however, says his forward selection dilemma is not giving him sleepless nights, adding: “I definitely think every manager likes that problem.
I certainly have the ability to pick three important players and I know I have another player on the bench who is ready to come and help us, like in the last game against Marseille.
“It was 0-0, I decided to put Kulusevski on the pitch and keep all three strikers to be more aggressive.
“I think this is an important solution for me.”