Mauricio Pochettino has spoken about reuniting with Son Heung-min, who was his “protégé” at Tottenham Hotspur.
Chelsea will host Tottenham in the 11th round of the 2023-24 Premier League (PL) season at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London, England, on July 7 at 5:00 a.m. ET. Currently, Chelsea is 11th in the league with three wins, three draws, and four losses (12 points), while Tottenham is first in the league with eight wins and two draws (26 points).
In his pre-match press conference, Pochettino was asked about his ‘favorite’ Son Heung-min. Pochettino was asked how he plans to stop Son, who has been in tremendous form lately and is leading the Tottenham charge.
Pochettino responded with a lighthearted joke. “I don’t play center back, but our center backs have to stop him,” he said. “We know him well and he is one of the best players in the PL. I don’t want him to have a bad night,” he added.
Pochettino’s relationship with Son Heung-min dates back to 2015. Pochettino had been following the South Korean since his time at Southampton, and he signed him ahead of the 2015-16 season.
It was a pretty big signing by the standards of the time, but in his first season, Heung-min didn’t quite live up to expectations. In 40 official appearances in 2015-16, he scored eight goals and provided six assists, but nearly half of those came as a substitute and he only managed four goals and one assist in the league. Eventually, after struggling to adapt to the PL, Son decided to return to Germany and appeared to be on his way out of England, as he was close to completing a move to Wolfsburg.
However, Pochettino had a lot of faith in the youngster and convinced him to stay, and in 2016-17, he turned his game around and established himself as one of Tottenham’s key strikers and attacking focal points. His final tally was 21 goals and 7 assists in 47 games.
Under Pochettino’s tutelage, Tottenham has also become a formidable team. After finishing second in the PL in 2016-17 and third in 2017-18 to qualify for the UEFA Champions League (UCL), Spurs enjoyed their best season in club history in 2018-19, reaching the UCL final in 토토사이트 dramatic fashion. Although they were unable to win the title, losing in the final to Liverpool, it was clearly the best season for both Son and Pochettino.
Pochettino’s partnership with Tottenham came to an end during the 2019-20 season. The reason: poor results. Pochettino then went on to manage Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) before being named Chelsea manager ahead of the 2023-24 season.
He was reunited with Pochettino after almost four years. It will be interesting to see if Son, who has been in tremendous form of late, can find the back of the net and lead his team to victory against Pochettino, who was a major turning point in his career.