This article forms part of our The Ones That Got Away feature series, which is where Football Transfer Tavern take a look back at players linked with moves in the past, and see how they would have made an impact had they signed for the interested side.
Spurs have plenty of reasons to be thankful for Heung-min Son. The South Korean has been a huge hit in North London since his switch in 2015, scoring his 75th goal in Tottenham colours in their recent draw with Sheffield United.
The positive effects of Son’s arrival are clear. He helped the side to successive best-ever finishes in the Premier League within his first two campaigns (scoring over 20 times in all competitions during the 2016/17 season), while he was an integral part of their memorable run to the Champions League final – scoring three throughout Spurs’ 4-3 aggregate win over Manchester City perhaps his personal highlight.
But finalising the deal to bring him to the Premier League from Bayer Leverkusen arguably goes beyond what he has been able to do on the pitch.
After his signing was announced, Mauricio Pochettino seemed to imply that the club’s efforts to buy West Bromwich Albion’s Saido Berahino were over – after having two bids knocked back for the then-22-year-old talent.
Given the contrast in directions of the pair’s respective careers, it seems that the Baggies’ resistance turned out to be a blessing in disguise for Spurs.
A 20-year-old striker by the name of Harry Kane had recently burst onto the scene with 31 goals in all competitions, but his rivals for a starting place were less than convincing, with Roberto Soldado the next-highest-scoring striker with just five.
Though Tottenham were never to rue their unsuccessful efforts to bring Berahino to White Hart Lane, with Son proving a useful, versatile option on either wing as Kane went from strength to strength.
Meanwhile, former Baggie Berahino has wound up in the Belgian top flight via a failed and tumultuous spell at Stoke City, where disciplinary issues hardly helped to absolve his lack of goals – with just 12 senior strikes between Spurs’ 2015 approach and the end of last season.
So Spurs are unlikely to have any sleepless nights over Berahino despite their own struggles of late – especially with the likes of Son continuing to perform in the meantime.
Will this be Mauricio Pochettino's last season at Tottenham?
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