According to a recent report from The Daily Mirror, Tottenham look set to be without Son Heung-min for their opening four Premier League matches. The South Korea international played a key part in the success of Mauricio Pochettino’s side last season in netting 18 goals and laying on 11 assists for the North London club, thus helping them to a third place finish in the Premier League.
Yet it appears that Pochettino could be without the 26-year-old as he has reportedly been selected by his country for the Asian Games, which will surely pile the pressure on £18 million-rated ace Erik Lamela (as per Transfermarkt) to produce the goods for the club in his absence.
Ultimately, striker Harry Kane was the only man to net more regularly than Son for Spurs last term to underline just how integral he was to Pochettino, while his tally of six Premier League assists was only bettered by Dele Alli and Christian Eriksen (both 11).
Thus, it’s pretty clear that Tottenham will simply have to replace the 26-year-old to avoid falling too far behind their title rivals in the opening four games of the season, and that is why Lamela simply must step up and produce the goods after a testing time last term.
The Argentine, who missed out on selection for this summer’s World Cup, returned from a year out with a hip problem midway through last season but was unable to re-discover his best form for the North Londoners, netting just twice and laying on four assists in 25 appearances.
However, there were signs that the 26-year-old was beginning to return to form with a brace and an assist in their thrilling 5-4 win over Leicester City on the final day, and alongside a full pre-season and summer off after his World Cup exclusion, Lamela should be fit and ready to go once the season starts next month.
And following the news that Son won’t be available in the first month of the campaign, Pochettino really needs the Argentine to re-discover his pre-injury form for Tottenham this term, as Lamela was beginning to produce his best after scoring five goals and laying on nine assists in the 2015/16 campaign, his last full season before injury.
Thus, it’s clearly in the 26-year-old to perform at a high level in the Premier League, and with Son set to miss their opening four matches, and Spurs needing a fast start to underline their title credentials, it will be up to Lamela to fill the void vacated by the South Korea international.
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